According to the annual Business Pulse Survey by SunTrust Banks, nearly two-thirds of business leaders expect the global and U.S. economy to improve through 2017. Leaders have high expectations for healthcare and tax reform to spur growth.
Even more optimistic about their own companies, as 75% of middle market (annual revenue of $10 million to $150 million) and small business (annual revenue of $2 million to $10 million) leaders feel their business outlook is strong. Mid-market leaders also cite reducing regulations (39%) and investments in infrastructure (37%) as ways to spur business momentum.
“This year, business leaders are feeling very prepared to take advantage of growth opportunities, 75% believe they have access to the critical capital needed,” said Allison Dukes, Commercial and Business Banking executive at SunTrust. “Three out of four have a goal-setting process linked to long-term growth strategies and are comfortable that they will achieve their goals.”
In 2017, the short-term priority for 31% of mid-market companies is profitability, a 29% increase since 2016; while 34 % of small businesses are focused on revenue, a 54% increase from last year.
Looking out five years, introducing a new product or service is still the top long-term strategy to stimulate growth for both mid-market (40%) and small business leaders (31%), while making a major capital investment (31%) and acquiring another company (17%) is a greater priority for the mid-market. To undertake these initiatives, common strategies include using cash on hand, reducing costs, obtaining a bank loan and reinvesting corporate earnings.
Decision-makers representing more than 500 small and mid-size businesses participated in the SunTrust/Radius Global Market Research survey. Survey results have a maximum margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points at a 90% confidence level.