Small business owners are optimistic about their prospects over the next 12 months, reporting that revenue forecasts going forward are at a seven-year high and projections for expansions have increased significantly since the spring. Overall, 66% of small business operators are forecasting revenue increases in 2023, according to Bank of America's national 2022 Women and Minority Business Owner spotlight report.

Three of every four entrepreneurs reported their businesses are well equipped to survive a recession while 63% of women business owners are optimistic, according to the report.

"As we look ahead to 2023, small business owners are optimistic about the future, even with ongoing economic challenges and uncertainty," Sharon Miller, president of small business and specialty lending at Bank of America, said of the findings. "The data underscores what we've seen time and time again: The continued resilience of small business owners whose success remains foundational to our local and national economies."

Plans to Expand

More than half of the entrepreneurs said they have plans to expand their businesses, an increase from 37% over spring 2022.

Inflation was the primary concern among small business operators at 75%, followed by commodities pricing at 69% and concerns over the threat of recession (67%).

A full 66% of business owners were uneasy about the nation's political environment and 65% were keeping a watchful eye on interest rates.

An overwhelming number of entrepreneurs (80%) remained concerned about key supply chain delays caused by the pandemic. And while 38% said they planned to increase hiring in 2023 (a seven-year high), labor-shortage problems also contributed to small business owners' unease.

Women, Minority Business Owners Face Challenges

Women business operators are especially anxious about access to capital to support and grow their businesses, with 29% reporting barriers to raising funds is a top issue they face on an ongoing basis; they added that they do not think they will ever have equal access to capital.

Similarly, women business owners said they faced more challenges in business than their male counterparts, and 59% felt they must work harder for the same success as men.

Minority business owners also felt they faced more challenges accessing capital for their businesses and 46% of Black and Hispanic-Latino business owners reported they've had to overcome funding barriers.

Bank of America's report surveyed more than 1,300 small business owners across the United States to assess their plans for 2023. The report including breakdowns related to gender and ethnicity.

Jill Aitoro

Jill Aitoro leads editorial for SC Media, and content strategy for parent company CyberRisk Alliance. She 20 years of experience editing and reporting on technology, business and policy.