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Ink from Chase Survey Reveals Small Business Owners Feel Optimistic About Business Performance this Holiday Season

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U.S. Small Business Owners Cite Increased Consumer Demand and Expanded E-Commerce as Potential Growth Drivers.

WILMINGTON, Del. – November 19, 2014 – The second annual holiday survey of small business owners released today from Ink from Chase revealed that 40 percent of small business owners are planning for an uptick in business performance this holiday season compared with last year. In addition, 61 percent say increased consumer demand will drive better business performance during the holidays compared to just 31 percent in 2013. Forty-three percent of small business owners say expanded e-commerce and mobile/online sales are also expected to contribute to better performance this winter compared with 27 percent in 2013.
The survey, commissioned by Ink from Chase, the business card portfolio of Chase polled 509 small business owners nationwide from companies that have between two and 99 employees. Below are some of the key findings:
Small business owners anticipate a strong holiday sales performance
  • Half (52 percent) of small business owners anticipate up to 20 percent of sales to come from new business/customers this holiday season.
  • Better marketing is proving effective for small business owners with 45 percent citing this as a contributor to better business this holiday season compared to only one-third (31 percent) in 2013.
  • A majority (64 percent) of small business owners feel more prepared for this holiday season compared to previous years.
“It’s encouraging to see that U.S. small business owners continue to maintain a positive outlook about their business and future growth opportunities,” said Laura Miller, President of Ink from Chase. “The successes of small businesses continue to help drive the U.S. economy forward – Ink from Chase stands behind our commitment to deliver financial resources that meet the needs of small businesses, so they can focus on growth this holiday season and throughout the new year.”
This year’s survey also found that small business owners will continue to align with big retailers by planning early holiday promotions this season. In fact, one-third (36 percent) of small business owners plan to start holiday promotions on or before Thanksgiving. Small business owners are also planning to be armed with a variety of promotional tactics to reach their customers – half (49 percent) of small business owners say they will reach customers through social media promotions this holiday season; compared to only 29 percent last season. There was also an increase and those who plan to reach consumers through Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions this year – 31 percent compared to only one-quarter (24 percent) in 2013.
And, although small business owners may be thinking big this holiday season they’re not overlooking that size can also play in their favor. Small business owners often have the advantage of being able to give tailored attention to their customers – most, (62 percent) say fulfilling special requests/orders gives them an advantage over larger retailers during the holidays. They also say personally reaching out to customers (58 percent), and creating customized shopping experiences (49 percent) are key differentiators over their larger retail competitors.
Ink from Chase is a portfolio of business cards offering robust, flexible payment solutions and resources to meet the unique needs of small business owners, from spending habits to cash flow needs and rewards. The business card portfolio offers cardholders a free mobile application and online tool designed to meet the needs of small business owners who are often on the go. The Ink mobile app saves small business owners time in the back office by enabling them to easily track, categorize and organize business expenses – including actual receipts – in real-time from their iPhone® and Android mobile devices.
About the Survey
The phone survey was fielded by Braun Research Inc. from October 15th–October 24th, 2014. The survey reached 509 small business owners with two – 99 employees in businesses that sell consumer goods.
The survey has a margin of error of approximately 4.31 percent.
About Chase
Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Chase serves more than 70 million consumers and small businesses through more than 5,600 bank branches, 20,000 ATMs, credit cards, mortgage offices, and online and mobile banking as well as through relationships with auto dealerships.
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