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CTBC Bank Business Survey Finds Southern California Companies Plan to Increase Investment and Hiring

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--Challenges remain in retaining qualified talent and securing capital for expansion--

September 29, 2014 04:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time

LOS ANGELES--( BUSINESS WIRE )--Nearly 60% of small and medium-sized businesses in Southern California expect 2015 revenues to be higher than 2014 revenues and 90% reveal they expect long-term commitments and investment to increase or stay the same, according to the inaugural CTBC Bank Business Survey – Southern California. released today by CTBC Bank Corp. (USA) .

The newly launched survey of more than 430 small and medium-sized business owners and senior managers in Southern California uncovered insights on a range of topics including Business Outlook, Business Plans & Goals, Finance, Workforce, Business Sourcing, Marketing & Sales, and Rewards & Challenges.

“CTBC Bank is bullish on growth for small and medium-sized businesses in Southern California,” said Noor Menai. President & CEO of CTBC Bank (USA). “Our inaugural CTBC Survey projects a very encouraging outlook for revenue and investment plans, which is a testament to confidence in the local economy and the advantages of the region as national and global business center. Important challenges remain particularly in building a future talent base, managing regulation and providing access to funding.”

“Medium and small businesses in Los Angeles have many reasons to be optimistic, including our growing economy that has added more than 40,000 jobs and has reduced our unemployment rate by 2% over the past year," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "To help LA companies do even better, we're cutting red tape and redundant permitting, providing free business consulting services at our city's Business Source Centers, and working to reform our business tax. Working with businesses to improving workforce training and make City Hall more business friendly, I'm confident Los Angeles can put the recession in the rearview mirror."

Survey highlights on Outlook and Workforce:

    49% of business owners/senior managers expect to increase the number of full time employees 67% of business owners/senior managers are concerned or very concerned they will have to change strategy or plans because they are unable to attract/retain the right talent

Survey highlights on Finance and Rewards/Challenges

    62% of business managers surveyed say financial stability/cash flow would hold them back from starting a new business of their own 86% of business owners would start their business again if they could go back

“People start companies for many reasons, but money usually isn’t the driving factor,” said David Belasco, Co-Director, Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, USC’s Marshall School of Business. “Founders express themselves through their businesses and want

the sense of personal achievement and autonomy that come from owning the company.”

Survey Highlights on Regulation & Sourcing

    29% of company owners and managers rate the business environment created by local county/city governments as good or excellent and only 20% of respondents rated state government environment as good or excellent. Of those that source materials, 71% source locally in Southern California while nearly half import materials and inventory from Asia

“The recent outlook on the economy by owners and managers of small and middle-market enterprise (SME’s) has not been optimistic,” said Dr. Alfred E. Osborne, Jr. Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Global Economics, Management and Entrepreneurship, UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. “Even though uncertainties regarding the general economy persist and regulatory and cost challenges remain, it is refreshing to learn that this survey reports business in Southern California trending in a positive direction. SMEs form the backbone for our communities so their hiring and investment plans are important to our recovering economy.”

For a full copy of the survey, please click here .

About the CTBC Bank Survey and Methodology

Respondents to the survey come from 15 industry sectors including biomedical/healthcare, business and professional services, entertainment/multimedia, fashion/retail, financial services, food services/restaurants, information technology, hospitality/tourism, manufacturing and others.

Half the companies surveyed are based in Los Angeles County and 22 percent are headquartered in Orange County, with annual revenue distribution from $100,000 to over $100 million, with two-thirds ranging from $1 million to $25 million in annual revenue. Respondent companies varied between five to 1,000 employees.

The CTBC Small Business Survey – Southern California was conducted online between August 21-28, 2014 with 432 business owners and senior managers in the region. CTBC Bank (USA) commissioned FTI Consulting to conduct the survey.

About CTBC Bank Corp. (USA)

CTBC Bank Corp. (USA) (formerly Chinatrust Bank U.S.A.) is a trusted and established institution providing commercial and retail customers with a real financial bridge to the next state of their lives and businesses. Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Los Angeles, CTBC Bank operates branches in California, New Jersey, and New York. The bank’s operations include deposits, loans, credit cards, foreign exchange, letters of credit, wealth management, mobile, and electronic banking services. Customers benefit from access to large bank resources coupled with individual attention and customized service of a small bank. Its parent company, CTBC Bank Co. Ltd. is supported by nearly $100 billion in assets and is among the largest banks in the world in terms of capital. For more information about CTBC Bank, visit www.ctbcbankusa.com .

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