Survey: It’s Not All About the Money for Small-Business Owners

By FOXBusiness

While retiring to your own private island may sound appealing, a majority of small-business owners say they would keep on working – even if they won the lottery.

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According to a new survey from BMO Harris Bank, only 39% of entrepreneurs say they would sell their company if they won the lotto.

“Over half say they would definitely continue running their small business,” says BMO Harris Bank head of small business banking Daniela O’Leary-Gill.

She says the survey results touch upon the core of what it means to be an entrepreneur.

“They’re passionate about their business and committed to succeeding,” says O’Leary-Gill. Interestingly, however, millennials would be most likely to try to offload their companies after hitting the jackpot, with 45% of those between the ages of 18 and 39 saying they would sell their business once the check was cashed.

Future Looking Bright on Main St.

The survey also polled small-business owners on their investment plans and found that more entrepreneurs are planning to invest in their businesses.

“Twenty percent plan to hire new employees this year, which is an encouraging thing to hear,” says O’Leary-Gill. She adds that with nearly half of job creation coming from small businesses, an uptick in hiring plans is positive news for the overall economy.

And outside of the survey, O’Leary-Gill says the bank is also noticing some positive momentum when it comes to its small-business customers.

“Loan approval rates are rising, and credit card usage is trending up,” says O’Leary-Gill. She says both data points suggest that small-business owners are feeling more self-assured.

“There’s a renewed sense of optimism – albeit cautious optimism – about the economy and in terms of thinking about growth and investment right now,” she adds.

The BMO Harris Bank survey is based on telephone interviews with 304 small-business owners running companies with annual revenue of less than $3 million per year. The surveys were conducted between November 4 and 22. BMO Harris Bank has 600 U.S. branches in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Arizona and Florida.

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