TD Bank's inaugural survey of small businesses in the Philadelphia and South Jersey region finds that nearly half, or 48 percent, expect to see revenue growth in 2014, but 70 percent do not plan to hire additional workers next year.
The new Small Business Pulse Check survey polled more than 250 small business owners with revenue of $5 million or less in seven South Jersey counties, greater Philadelphia and Delaware.
The survey "echoes what we hear every day from our customers in the tri-state area," said Mike Carbone, regional president for TD Bank's Metro Philadelphia market. "Many small business owners enjoyed a successful 2013, but still are exercising caution in the face of economic and legislative evolutions."
Six in 10 small business owners said they do not believe the Affordable Care Act will impact their business. Of the one-quarter who anticipate a negative impact from the ACA, the majority are concerned about rising costs and the impact on profits. But only 4 percent said the ACA would limit or prevent hiring.
Fourteen percent anticipate a positive impact from the ACA, citing the law's additional coverage options and the ability to get insurance or offer it to employees.
More than half said their business has been hurt by the U.S. economy, and linked the economic situation to declining sales and limited consumer spending.
Nearly one half, 48 percent, of small businesses that applied for credit said they will use the funds for product and equipment costs, and 36 percent who plan to use credit for marketing and advertising.
The survey of 251 businesses with $5 million or less in revenue and 100 or fewer employees was conducted in October.