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Business Banking

U.S. Small Businesses Ring in Election, Holiday Seasons with Good Cheer

New York, NY Oct 06, 2016 Newest Chase survey “Business Leaders Outlook“ reveals optimism for businesses and industry, but caution about overall economy. Hispanic owners use more technology, expect sales and profits to increase.

Despite the uncertainty of the U.S. presidential election and the holiday shopping season, most small business owners are optimistic about their companies’ prospects, according to the inaugural 2016 Fall/Winter Chase Business Leaders Outlook report released today.

About two-thirds of the nearly 900 small business owners surveyed said they are optimistic about their business over the next 12 months, and 55% felt the same way about their industry. However, only 49% were optimistic about their local economy and 42% about the national economy. Both of those have dropped in each of the past two surveys.

Hispanic business owners appear to be even more optimistic, with 87% expecting revenue and sales to rise and 81% expect profits to rise in the next 12 months.

"Most small business owners are still bullish about their own growth, just as they were in our spring survey. With the holidays approaching, most predict increases in online sales, and almost half predict their customers will spend more this year."

Laura Miller, president of U.S. Small Business for Chase Commerce Solutions

Small Businesses Survey Highlights

Holiday spending

59% of small businesses expect more holiday online shopping purchases this holiday season over last year. Additionally:

  • 46% expect an increase in customer spending
  • 40% expect the shopping season to start earlier
  • 33% plan to keep longer hours

Economy optimism

65% of small businesses are optimistic about their own company’s performance, with optimism on the economy strongest closer to home – consistent from previous years:

What businesses expect near and far

  Fall 2016 Spring 2016 Spring 2015
Local Economy 49%
53% 55%
National Economy 42% 43% 47%
Global Economy 30% 27% 26%


Financing and lending

59% plan to borrow this year, up from 52% in 2015. Of those obtaining financing, the top choice when considering a lender is a tie at 37% planning on turning to banks/credit unions/traditional lenders or using business credit cards. The top reasons for using the proceeds are:

  • Working capital (18%)
  • Buying and repairing equipment (18%)
  • Marketing (16%)
  • Purchasing inventory (13%)
  • Software and technology (13%)
  • Remodeling (12%)
  • Expansions (11%)
  • Refinancing (11%)

Hispanic business owners 

Hispanic business leaders’ optimism in a season of change:

  • 42% plan to increase full-time employees and 63% plan to increase part-time employees
  • 32% are minority supplier certified and many see these outside relationships delivering the most value for their business:
    • 45% find value in networking organizations
    • 37% say banking experts add value to their business
    • 26% say trade and industry associations add value to their business
  • 40% spend capital on mobile advertising, vs. 18% of non-Hispanic
  • 76% use mobile banking weekly, vs. 44% of non-Hispanic
  • 53% accept contactless payments, vs. 27% of non-Hispanic

To download a copy of the fall/winter small business edition of 2016 Chase Business Leaders Outlook survey, visit chase.com/2016businessleadersoutlook. To access additional business resources, visit chase.com/forbusiness.


The fall/winter small business edition of the 2016 Business Leaders Outlook survey was conducted from August to September. A total of 896 from small businesses (annual revenue between $100,000 and $20 million) responded to an online survey. The results of the survey are within statistical parameters for validity, and the error rate is plus or minus 2.5 percent at the 95 percent confidence interval.

Media Contact

Ashley Frost, Ashley.C.Frost@jpmorgan.com