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REPORT: Small Business Confidence is at all time high since the Recession

capitol one spark

capitol one spark

A new report revealed that small business confidence is at an all time high since the recession, but at the same time business owners still struggle to attract and retain customers.

These findings are in the Capital One Spark Business Confidence report released yesterday  at a gathering of local small business owners in Washington DC’s swanky event venue The Loft at 600.  The event had some celebrity flavor.  Shark Tank TV personality Daymond John  joined  author and Washington Post columnist Gene Marks  for a live interactive interview. 

Before that, attendees learned more about the outcome of the analysis of data from Capital One’s Spark Business Barometer.  Since 2009, on a quarterly basis, it surveys small business owners to gauge their attitudes and perceptions of national and local economic conditions, current and future business prospects, and other factors impacting business growth.

The report concluded that small business sentiment has increased 33 percent since the Recession.

“We’ve seen real improvement in business owners’ confidence about the stability and sustainability of their operations — indicating many entrepreneurs are focusing less on recovery and looking ahead toward new prospects and growth. This is a terrific sign for our local and national economies given the tremendous impact small businesses have on job creation and innovation,” said Keri Gohman, Head of Small Business Banking at Capital One. “But competing and growing in today’s increasingly competitive and complex digital landscape can be tough –particularly for small businesses with limited funds, resources and time. Our goal is to make some of those resources more accessible, so small businesses can grow and succeed.”

During the formal part of the networking event, Marks interviewed John who is also known for being the founder of the now-defunct urban apparel brand FUBU. John offered salient advice based on his experience in business and in funding various ventures during his career as a venture capitalist. He also answered questions from those tweeting questions online and in the room. 

John suggested that small businesses embrace social media as a way to reach new customers and expand their reach.

Marketing is one of the hardest thing small businesses struggle to do well. The survey of 505 small business owners conducted online by Harris Poll in April also found that 76 percent say they have marketing challenges, yet only 39 percent have actually implemented a marketing strategy.

Lack of funds may have something to do with this outcome.

About 70 percent  say they would designate extra funds toward marketing efforts – yet only eight percent of small business owners have a mentor who can lend the necessary insight or strategic direction to do so.

“For small business owners, working with the right business advisor has a huge impact in achieving sustainable business growth,” said Allison Kelly, Managing Director of Small BusinessAdvising and Lending at Pacific Community Ventures. “And when small businesses thrive,communities thrive. With support from Capital One, BusinessAdvising.org can match skilled volunteer advisors with small business owners, fueling revenue growth and creating new quality jobs across the nation.”

This new partnership is the start and part of a $150 million commitment “designed to help individuals and entrepreneurs succeed in a digitally-driven economy,” a press release from the bank stated.

Entrepreneurs in California, where Pacific Community is located, will get additional help. Capital One will be investing an additional $500,000 in low-interest loans to help expand lending efforts to microbusinesses in that state.

It is in banking institution’s best interest to have a robust economy where its small businesses succeed so efforts like Captial One Spark’s is but one way to help nurture their success.

Capital One Spark Business is the sector of Capital One that focuses and offers a menu or specialized services to small businesses and commercial clients.

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