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Tight Labor Market And High Costs Of Living Continue To Challenge LA Small Business Owners But Optimism Remains

1st Century Bank's latest survey reveals powerful insights into region's small business economy

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent study has found that a tight labor market and rising costs of living continue to be concerns for small business owners in Los Angeles, yet the region remains optimistic for continued economic growth throughout 2019. These are key findings from research by 1st Century Bank, a division of MidFirst Bank, and its most recent "Los Angeles Small Business Attitudes" survey. The study is conducted in partnership with Beacon Economics.

MidFirst Bank and 1st Century Bank (PRNewsFoto/MidFirst Bank) (PRNewsfoto/1st Century Bank)

Despite some lingering concerns about the economy, nearly 80 percent of small business owners believe the Los Angeles economy will improve over the next six months, while 65 percent of business owners believe the national economy will continue to improve during the same time frame. The full report is available at 1cbank.com/research.

Some key findings include:

  • Rising health care costs continue to be the biggest economic worry for small businesses with 78 percent of respondents expressing increasing concern about the impact of costs on their business.
  • Some 64 percent of small business owners are worried about natural disasters and fear the possible harmful effects on their business.
  • High housing costs are increasingly fueling the desire for small business owners to consider moving their business with 76 percent of respondents "seriously considering relocating their business due to Los Angeles' high costs of housing."
  • Nearly two-thirds of small businesses indicate a continuing challenge to find qualified employees, and 36 percent said they have job openings they are unable to fill.

"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the input and insights provided in our survey are invaluable assets for an accurate snapshot of the overall business sector," said Adam Fowler, research director at Beacon Economics. "The owners and operators of these businesses are on the frontlines of economic activity everyday – that's why this research is so important to analyze and learn from."

Survey participants included CEOs, managing partners and chief financial- and technology officers, among others. The majority of company leaders polled operate small businesses with less than 75 employees.

"We are huge advocates and supporters of the small business community," said Jason DiNapoli, the CEO and president or 1st Century Bank. "The information and data we gather from the Los Angeles Small Business Attitudes survey helps us provide leadership and insight to our clients. This customized and more personalized service is what our clients have come to expect from their local business banking partner."

1st Century Bank is a division of MidFirst Bank, one of the nation's largest privately held financial institutions. A combination of private ownership, capital base, and local market expertise allows 1st Century Bank to provide greater scale and opportunity for its clientele, distinguishing itself it in the Los Angeles market.

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