Small-Business Owners Optimistic And Expecting To Grow, New Survey Finds

Staff Report

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

1st Century Bank, a division of MidFirst Bank, released the inaugural edition of the new research series "Los Angeles Small Business Attitudes" in partnership with Beacon Economics. Overall, the study shows tremendous optimism and expected growth for small businesses in Los Angeles across numerous industries for the next six months.

Small companies are drivers of ingenuity and progression, yet within the economic sector, their contributions are often overlooked. The media relies largely on macro data — primarily gross domestic product and the Standard & Poor's 500 — to gauge the health of the U.S. economy. However, a review of small businesses can reveal distinctive insights. Small companies can be, the most fragile businesses — fighting for market share, funding, sales and profits, while balancing the costs of payrolls and new technology to stay competitive.

The full report is available at

Some key findings:

  • 78 percent of respondents are expecting increase market demand. 

  • 54 percent of respondents reported increased margins in the past six months, and 79.3 percent of respondents said they believe margins will increase in the future.

  • 56 percent of respondents reported increased sales in the past six months, and 70.7 percent said they expect sales to increase in the next six months.

"Small businesses are an enormously important part of the economy, whether in a major metropolis like Los Angeles or just about any sized market across the nation," said Adam Fowler, research director at Beacon Economics. "The owners and operators of these businesses have their fingers directly on the pulse of key business and economic trends, but they also have specific concerns that often aren't captured in the headlines, and this is a serious omission. If we don't understand small-business sentiment, we can't know the direction this important sector will be heading in that future nor can we improve conditions for their success."

"As a bank supporting small businesses, we are motivated to understand the overall sentiment of the markets we serve while also providing trend insight to the business community at large. We are pleased to share this report to the small business community of Los Angeles and confident this information will be of value to business owners," said Jason DiNapoli, CEO and President 1st Century Bank.