Study: Philly Small Business Owners Optimistic About 2016

One in five even think it'll be their best year yet.

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A survey of 300 small business owners in the Philadelphia area suggests 2016 could be a good year for the local economy.

More than a quarter of those businesses believe they’ll exceed revenue goals in 2016 — up from 19 percent a year ago. Sixty-two percent of owners say they’re optimistic about the year, and one in five believe it will be their best year yet.

“It’s encouraging to see confidence levels among this group rise as we enter 2016, for both the local small business marketplace and the Greater Philadelphia economy overall,” Mike Carbone, TD Bank’s regional president, said in a statement announcing the results.

Some other highlights:

  • 77 percent of respondents said they expect to meet or exceed their annual revenue goals — up from 74 percent in 2014.
  • 26 percent of small businesses anticipate exceeding their revenue goals in 2016 — the first increase in this category since 2013, when 19 percent of respondents expected to make similar gains.
  • 38 percent of business owners cited tax burdens as their biggest challenge, while 16 percent said finding skilled labor was the largest problem.
  • 72 percent said they expect to maintain current employment levels, and just 17 percent said the expect their company’s workforces to grow.
  • Just 12 percent believe the local economy has a positive impact on their businesses.

The survey was done in late November by Vision Critical on behalf of TD Bank. The business owners — spread out near Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware — each have annual revenues of $5 million or less. The results have a 5.7-percent margin of error.

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