DC-area small businesses are hiring

WASHINGTON — The nation’s unemployment rate fell to a 17-year low of 4.1 percent in November, with more companies stepping up hiring, and small business owners in the D.C. area plan to do their share.

A Bank of America fall 2017 Small Business Owner report found a high level of small business owner confidence in the economy as well.

The report says more than eight in 10 D.C.-area business owners are confident that their 2017 year-end revenue will top that of 2016, and two-thirds are confident that their revenue will improve over the next 12 months.

Six out of 10 D.C.-area small business owners plan to grow their businesses over the next five years, and over a third of them intend to hire new employees in the next 12 months.

The Bank of America survey also found that, of those Greater Washington entrepreneurs planning to apply for a loan in 2018, four out of 10 plan to use that funding to invest in new technology.

“Entrepreneurs in our nation’s capital are optimistic about the year ahead and hungry for innovation,” said Michael Bonura, small business banker at Bank of America.

“Their sustained optimism in the economy, combined with strong hiring and long-term growth plans, points toward a bright future in 2018 and beyond.”

Small businesses in the D.C. region still cite health care costs as their biggest concern, although it was down to 63 percent in Bank of America’s latest survey, compared to 72 percent in the fall of 2016.

Other top economic concerns for Washington area entrepreneurs and small business owners are consumer spending, strength of the U.S. dollar, interest rates, the stock market and corporate tax rates.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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