Most U.S. small business preparing for a recession: Bank of America survey


(Reuters) – Small business owners around the country are preparing for a recession, according to a new survey by Bank of America Corp.

More than two-thirds of business owners surveyed by the bank said they had taken steps to prepare for an economic downturn, including setting cash aside or planning to reduce expenses.

Of the 69 percent of owners who had started preparing for a recession, only 19 percent had opened a line of credit, a figure that Bank of America’s head of small business Sharon Miller said was too low.

“When you need a line of credit, you often can’t get one,” she said in an interview. “Business owners should be thinking about that now.”

There was less optimism about the U.S. economy than last year, the survey showed. Forty-eight percent of business owners felt the national economy would improve over the next year, down from 55 percent last fall. Concerns about healthcare costs and the impact of trade wars contributed to declining sentiment.

Although the bank said it is important for businesses to be ready for a potential downturn, top executives pointed to growth in consumer spending and low unemployment to show the economy is still in good