Small Businesses in New York City Worried About 2014

For just less than half of owners across the boroughs, economic uncertainty and competitive pressures are the top-of-mind concerns for 2014.

Small businesses in New York City expect to see revenue growth in 2014, but hiring optimism is lagging with 61 percent of those surveyed planning to maintain staffing levels next year, according to TD Bank’s inaugural New York City Small Business Pulse Check.

The regionally focused survey, which included small businesses of $5 million or less in revenue and 100 employees or less, included questions on the challenges and opportunities facing small businesses in the five boroughs.

More than one-half (56 percent) of the small business owners report that their businesses have been negatively impacted by the U.S. economy with respondents correlating the economic situation with declining sales and limited consumer spending.

In Queens, 62 percent of small business owners reported a negative impact, compared with 53 percent in Manhattan, 57 percent in Staten Island, 56 percent in the Bronx and 54 percent in Brooklyn.

For just less than half of small business owners across the boroughs, economic uncertainty, increased cost of doing business and competitive pressures are the top-of-mind concerns for 2014.

"The five boroughs are each unique and great places in which to do business. The TD Bank Small Business Pulse Check found that despite the individuality across the boroughs, small business owners in New York City as a whole are experiencing the same opportunities and challenges," Chris Giamo, regional president for TD Bank's Metro New York market, said in a statement. "We want New York small business owners to know that we are here to help them manage those challenges and take advantage of the opportunities so they can succeed in 2014."

Nearly all owners across all five boroughs reported using a checking account for business, including 100 percent of Manhattan business owners, and approximately 36 percent of small business owners surveyed report revenue of $100,000 or less, with 57 percent of these owners the sole proprietors.

More than half of small business owners surveyed (55 percent) said they do not believe the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will impact their business.

Of the nearly one-quarter who anticipate a negative impact from the legislation, most are concerned about rising costs, and 13 percent of respondents indicated that the health care reform would reduce health care access and choice.

Small business owners in Staten Island and Manhattan felt more strongly that there would be no impact (59 percent) from ACA, compared with the Bronx (46 percent), which felt most strongly of the boroughs that there would be a negative impact.

The survey also found 21 percent of area business owners anticipate a positive impact from health care reform, with the ability to get insurance or offer insurance to employees being singled out as benefits of the ACA.