SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--An overwhelming majority of Seattle area small business owners believe that the Seattle economy is stronger than the national economy, according to the 2013 Chase-Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Pulse of the Small Business Survey. More than eight-in-10 (83 percent) Seattle area small business owners feel that their local economy is stronger than the national economy compared to 55 percent nationwide. Still, more than half (56 percent) of Seattle area small business owners believe the national economy is getting better, compared to about a third (34 percent) nationwide.
The survey also revealed that seven-in-10 Seattle area small business owners expect an increase in revenue over the next 12 months. Specifically, more than a third (34 percent) expect their businesses’ revenue to increase by more than 10 percent. A majority (52 percent) have reported an increase in revenue over the past 12 months, compared to 44 percent nationwide, fueling Seattle area small business owners’ positive economic outlook. The survey results were released today by Chase at a Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce event.
“Seattle is a thriving community whose creative energy is clearly helping small businesses to thrive, grow and keep our local economy moving,” said Tim Howell, business banking market manager for the Pacific Northwest, Chase. “Chase believes that small businesses are the engine of our nation’s economic growth, especially in Seattle, and we’re proud to support the continued success of small businesses within the community.”
Strong Seattle Economy Brings Growth
More than two-fifths (42 percent) of Seattle area small business owners believe that their local economy has had a positive impact on the growth of their business, which is 22 percentage points higher than those nationwide. Over the past year, Seattle area small business owners have increased contracts and their customer base (34 percent), expanded products and services offered (33 percent) and hired more employees (22 percent) - all signs of a strong local economy.
“Seattle is a great place for small businesses to grow into big businesses,” said Maud Daudon, president and CEO, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. “The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce works hard to facilitate this growth because we know that when the business community thrives, the whole community is healthy.”
Seattle Small Businesses Continue to Hire
Contributing to the growing economy, a quarter of Seattle area small business owners reported an increase in the number of jobs at their businesses over the past 12 months, compared to 17 percent nationwide. In addition, more than half (56 percent) of Seattle area small business owners have maintained their current staff levels in the last year, while three-in-10 are currently hiring. Seattle area small business owners expect this hiring trend to continue as 38 percent are looking to increase the number of jobs at their businesses in the next 12 months.
Although more than six-in-10 (64 percent) small business owners in the Seattle area find it difficult to acquire qualified employees for their businesses, local small business owners reported on what they value most in candidates. Work experience (55 percent) proves to be the most valuable attribute of a qualified employee, followed by higher education (13 percent) and training (11 percent).
Local Attributes Driving Small Business
The Seattle economy (44 percent), local environment and quality of life (40 percent) and creative energy (33 percent) are viewed by small business owners as the top three benefits of doing business in the Seattle area. In addition, two-fifths of Seattle area small business customers come from their local community. These benefits seem to be paying off as more than three-fifths (63 percent) of Seattle area small business owners report that they have been in business for more than 10 years, including 38 percent who have been in business for more than 20 years.
About the Survey
The 2013 Chase-Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Pulse of the Small Business Survey is an online poll of 213 small business owners in the Seattle area conducted April 12-May 2, 2013. In addition to the Seattle area survey, an online poll of a randomly-selected sample of 802 small business owners nationwide was conducted April 9-16, 2013. The margin of error for the national survey is ±3.5 percentage points and larger for subgroups.
Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Chase serves more than 52 million consumers and small businesses through more than 5,600 bank branches, 18,700 ATMs, credit cards, mortgage offices, and online and mobile banking as well as through relationships with auto dealerships. More information about Chase is available at www.chase.com.
About the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is the largest and most diverse business association in the Puget Sound region. Founded in 1882 by local business leaders, the Chamber today is an independent organization representing 2,200 companies and a regional workforce of approximately 700,000. At the Chamber, we believe that the business community thrives when the whole community is healthy. And we believe our region is uniquely positioned to compete in the global marketplace because we embrace three key attributes: we create jobs, we are responsible stewards of the environment, and we ensure access and opportunity for all.