Atlanta small-business owners upbeat for next year

If it’s up to small business, the next year should be a good one for hiring and growth in Atlanta, according to a survey of 300 business owners.

Optimism is on the rise, according to the survey taken for Bank of America: 62 percent of Atlanta’s small-business owners plan to hire in 2016 – up 40 percent from two years ago. It is also the largest share of hiring plans since the survey was first done in 2012.

“Business owners are finally climbing out of the Great Recession,” said Dean Bird, Atlanta small business banker manager at Bank of America.

Coins, balanceSlightly more than 70 percent of the Atlanta entrepreneurs taking part said they expect revenue to increase during the next year. That expectation is 20 percent higher than two years ago.

Capital access, of course, is key to growth. And Bank of America is in the business of – among other things – loaning money. So the Atlanta responses were not only upbeat for the region, they were good news for the bank: One-third of those surveyed said they plan to apply for a loan in 2016.

That is up from 19 percent a year ago, the bank said.

The survey was conducted by Braun Research in Atlanta and eight other markets. Braun talked with owners whose business had annual sales more than $100,000 and less than $5 million that employed fewer than 100 employees.

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