SBA Hot Topic Tuesday — Main Street is Following Wall Street’s Lead

February 24, 2015

By Bob Coleman
Editor, SBA Hot Topic Tuesday

The records achieved by Wall Street stock market indices are trickling down to Main Street according to a recent TD Bank Small Business Survey.

Not only is Main Street expecting to see revenue and sales growth, but 70 percent of survey respondents said they are feeling optimistic or excited about their business. More than one-quarter even indicated that 2015 might be their best year to date.

According to the survey, 77 percent of Main Street small business owners met or exceeded their 2014 revenue goals and the number who exceeded their goals nearly tripled (36 percent in 2014, compared with only 13 percent in 2013).

More than half (52 percent) of Main Street owners have applied or are planning to apply for a loan or line of credit in the next 12 months. This is a significant increase from 2014, when only 17 percent indicated they applied or intended to apply for a loan. Of those business owners with credit needs, 42 percent noted they would use the funds for working capital, followed by cash flow (35 percent) and product / equipment costs (32 percent).

The majority of small business owners (80 percent) said they would go to their primary financial institution if they were in need of additional credit or financing.

Despite this high level of optimism for their individual business’ outlook, challenges still persist for Main Street. The biggest challenges cited by respondents in 2015 include economic uncertainty (23 percent), increased cost of doing business (17 percent) and competitive pressures (13 percent).

The results come from a TD Bank survey of 495 small business owners in the New York city area with revenues of less than $5 million, and less than 100 employees.