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TD Bank Small Business Pulse Check Finds Boston Businesses Expect Growth in 2014

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Boston business owners are on track to meet or exceed 2014 revenue goals, but plan to keep staffing levels the same for next year

CHERRY HILL, N.J., April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, has announced the results of its inaugural Boston-area Small Business Pulse Check, a regionally focused survey which includes questions on the challenges and opportunities facing small businesses in the Boston metro area. TD asked small business owners about business goals, hiring plans, expected impact of the Affordable Care Act, and the influence of the economy on their business.

America's Most Convenient Bank.

The new Small Business Pulse Check polled more than 140 small business owners with revenue of $5 million or less in two Boston counties, Norfolk and Suffolk. Results show that 82 percent of small business owners expect to meet or exceed revenue growth in 2014, but job growth may lag with 80 percent of those surveyed planning to maintain staffing levels next year.

"The TD Bank Small Business Pulse Check really aligns with what we hear from our small business customers across the Greater Boston area," said Mark Crandall, Regional President for TD Bank's Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island market. "Small business owners are exercising caution right now, but expect to hit their goals. In fact, Boston is in a particularly healthy position based on the strength of the city's financial services and education sectors."

Affordable Care Act

Seventy-one percent of small business owners surveyed do not believe the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will impact their business. About three-quarters of Boston-area small business owners reported that they are not required by the Affordable Care Act to provide health insurance to their employees. 

"Although the extension on implementing some of the Affordable Care Act has likely eased immediate concerns for entrepreneurs, we want small business owners to know that it's not too early to come to our stores, or call their bankers, to talk with us about the implications of the legislation on their business," Crandall said.

Impact of the U.S. Economy

Despite business optimism, small business owners continue to be wary about the impact of the U.S. economy. More than one-half of small business owners (58 percent) report that their businesses have been negatively impacted by the U.S. economy, with respondents correlating the economic situation with limited consumer spending and declining sales.

"In Suffolk and Norfolk counties, we see small business owners affected by the economy, but we're committed to assisting them through the recovery," said Crandall.

Other Key Facts:

  • Close to one-half (44 percent) of Boston small businesses are professionally oriented. Businesses dealing with retail and recreation follow behind (21 percent).
  • Sixty-six percent of Boston small business owners are sole proprietors.
  • One-fifth of Boston small business owners have applied for a loan or line of credit in the past 12 months or intend to apply in the next 12 months.
  • Fifty-three percent of small business that applied for a line of credit or loan plan to use funds for product and equipment costs, followed by 25 percent for employee salary and compensation costs.

TD Bank Small Business ranks highest in J.D. Powers' Small Business Customer Satisfaction Northeast survey and was recently named as Money Magazine's "Best Big Bank in America" for 2013.

Survey Methodology
The study was conducted among a representative group of small business owners from the Boston area between March 5th and 12th, 2014. Included were small businesses of $5 million or less in revenue, and 100 employees or less. The sample size of 140 has a margin of error of +/- 8.2 percent. The survey was hosted by global research company Angus Reid Public Opinion.

About Angus Reid Public Opinion
Angus Reid Public Opinion is the Public Affairs practice of Vision Critical-a global research company. Vision Critical is a leader in the use of the Internet and rich media technology to collect high-quality, in-depth insights for a wide array of clients.

About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at approximately 1,300 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.tdbank.com. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US.

TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD." To learn more, visit www.td.com.

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