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Why Black Small Business Owners Are Optimistic, Ready For Growth in 2024

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Optimism this year starts at home, with Black (77 percent) small business owners more positive about the outlook for their own businesses, compared to all small business owners surveyed (69 percent), according to a recent survey by JPMorgan & Chase. (PROVIDED)
Sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Despite continuing concerns about inflation and economic uncertainty, Black small business owners are more optimistic about 2024 compared to small business owners overall, according to JPMorgan Chase’s 2024 Business Leaders Outlook survey.

Optimism this year starts at home, with Black (77 percent) small business owners more positive about the outlook for their own businesses, compared to all small business owners surveyed (69 percent). Those high hopes are figuring into their 2024 projections – 80 percent of Black small business owners expect substantial increases in revenue and sales compared to 69 percent of small business owners overall.

“We’re seeing that diverse small business owners are ready to hit the accelerator on growth in 2024 in order to reach their goals,” said Mikal Quarles, Head of Community Business Strategies for Chase Business Banking. “It’s all about access, whether that’s access to capital or opportunity. Through programs like our complimentary one-on-one coaching or Special Purpose Credit Program, diverse entrepreneurs gain access to resources that help get their small businesses to the next level.”

Here are the survey’s top 5 takeaways:

  • It’s going to be a good year

In addition to expressing confidence in their own businesses, more than half (51 percent) of Black small business owners expressed optimism about the state of the national economy, compared to 43 percent total small business owners, and 68 percent are more optimistic about their industry’s performance compared to 63 percent total small business owners surveyed.

  • Increasing credit needs

More than half of Black small business owners (52 percent) believe their credit needs will increase this year, compared to 45 percent of small business owners overall. Additionally 57 percent Black small business owners surveyed expect capital expenditures to increase this year, compared to 48 percent total small business owners surveyed.

  • Inflation is top concern, but not a roadblock

Business owners are still cautious about the state of the economy, with Black small business owners citing inflation (44 percent), growing sales/revenues (23 percent) and rising taxes (22 percent) as the biggest challenges they expect in 2024. They are also more confident and most likely to hit the accelerator in the face of inflation this year.

  • Customers are the top priority

Among the priorities for Black small business owners this year, adding new customers (53 percent) topped the list, followed by retaining current customers (44 percent). Additional priorities include starting to use artificial intelligence/AI (37 percent), reducing debt (30 percent) and increasing/improving employee benefits (30 percent).

  • Focusing on health and wellness

2024 is all about getting your health and wellness in check. Black small businesses are most likely to implement mental health days (42 percent), also citing increased awareness and education (39 percent) and added stress relieving activities in the workplace (38 percent) as mental health strategies for the year.

Things are looking up this year. While all small business owners surveyed were more upbeat about the economy and less worried about a recession compared to this time last year, Black, Hispanic and Latino small business owners expressed the most confidence about the national economy, the performance of their respective industries and their companies’ strength.

For more information on JPMorgan Chase’s Business Leaders Outlook survey, visit jpmorgan.com/insights/outlook/business-leaders-outlook.