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Business Banking

Trending: Aging U.S. Small Business Leaders Plan Their Exits

Chase for Business survey also reveals heightened optimism and ongoing wish list for government policy.

New York October 31, 2017 More small business leaders are planning to sell, transfer or exit their business within five years, as discovered in the latest Business Leaders Outlook report from Chase for Business. The survey found 29% of small businesses plan to transition, up from 20% last year.

Overall, small businesses feel more confident in both the national and global economy, 56% and 44%, respectively, up by 14 points each compared to last year.  They still feel best, however, about matters closer to home: their own company’s performance (69%) and their local economy (58%).

“Small businesses know what they’re doing, and that includes more of them planning a transition in the next five years,” said Andrew Kresse, CEO of Business Banking at Chase. “We’re proud to support businesses at any stage – whether they’ve just hung up an open sign or have been at it for 50 years.”

Business Leaders Outlook Highlights

Trying to Grow the Top Line
Small businesses most often cited the following top three challenges:

  • Ability to grow sales and revenue: 39%, down 11 points from 2015
  • Uncertain economic conditions: 31%, down 4 points from last year
  • Healthcare costs: 28%, up 6 points from last year. Now, just over half of small businesses provide healthcare coverage for employees, up 6 points from last year or up 11 points from 2015.

Updating the Wish List for Government
Business leaders are keeping several issues front and center:

  • Lowering tax rates: 57%, down 5 points from 2015
  • Reducing regulations: 39%, down 9 points from 2015
  • Access to capital: 35%, up 5 points from 2015

But more wish the government would focus on:

  • Improving infrastructure: 29%, up 6 points from last year
  • Protecting consumers’ interests: 22%, up 6 points from 2015
  • Cybersecurity legislation: 22%, up 9 points from 2015

Holding Back on Hiring
Fewer small businesses plan to increase full-time employees (27%, down 3 points from earlier this year), and part-time employees (31%, down 5 points from earlier this year). But the need for help with hiring has increased from previous years (14%, up 7 points from earlier this year) and more cite a limited supply of candidates as a challenge (15%, up 4 points from 2015).

To download a copy of the small business edition of 2017 Business Leaders Outlook report, visit To access additional business resources, visit

The small business edition of the 2017 Business Leaders Outlook survey from Chase for Business sets out to understand businesses perceptions of both domestic and international economic and regulatory conditions, as well as to understand the concerns facing these organizations. The online survey was conducted from July 17-24, 2017. A total of 1,099 from small businesses (annual revenue between $100,000 and $20 million) in the United States participated in the survey. The results of the survey are within statistical parameters for validity, and the error rate is +/-2.5% at the 95% confidence interval.

Media Contacts

Ashley Frost,

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