Dowouona: Business owners upbeat despite recession worries

Amy Dowuona

While 67% of business owners fear a recession will hurt their business over the next year, 77% say their company is equipped to weather a recession, according to Bank of America’s new 2022 Women & Minority Business Owners Spotlight.

In Oklahoma City, low unemployment has been a factor in continued growth, and estimates suggest the number of jobs will soon exceed pre-pandemic levels. The business landscape in OKC is diverse and diverse, and survey results on women- and minority-owned businesses can provide insight into emerging trends for the local economy.

The recent survey covers several key demographics including women, black and Hispanic Hispanic business owners. Across the spectrum, 66% of business owners expect their revenue to grow over the next 12 months – a seven-year high – with minority-owned companies leading their non-minority counterparts in these positive forecasts. Hiring plans also hit their highest level in seven years, with 38% of respondents saying they plan to hire in the next 12 months.

Female entrepreneurs have positive prospects and 47% plan to expand their business in the next year. Many women feel their businesses face unique challenges, with 29% citing a lack of equal access to capital and 60% saying they are self-taught, compared to 51% of men. Despite these obstacles, 71% feel equipped to weather a recession.

Within the Black community, business owners use their platform to drive social change, and two in five are actively involved in social causes. Whether through volunteering or financial commitments, these efforts have fueled growth, with 61% reporting increased sales and 40% deepening ties with their community.

Hispanic-Latino entrepreneurs are more optimistic about business prospects than their peers. In the next 12 months, 71% expect sales to increase and 59% hope to expand their business. For the Hispanic/Latino community, local involvement is a two-way street, with 60% of owners saying the community plays an active role in supporting their business, and nearly nine in 10 say they actively contribute to their community through donations and volunteering return and other ways.

Faced with numerous challenges such as inflation, supply chains and labor shortages, small business owners continue to play an important role in our local – and national – economy. In OKC, a diverse, engaged and active group of small business owners continue to make this a great place to work and live, and Bank of America is proud to support these businesses and the OKC community as a whole.

Amy Dowuona is a small business banker at Bank of America Oklahoma City.


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