ATLANTA, March 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Eighty-four percent of business owners and top decision-makers in companies with annual revenue of $10-150 million say they are preparing to seek opportunities for growth, according to the annual Business Pulse Survey sponsored by SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI). In connection with a general feeling of optimism, 80 percent of business decision-makers feel confident about their own business strength, which is a driving factor in plans for growth and expansion.
Business leaders plan to stimulate growth over the next five years by introducing new products and services (36 percent), making major capital investments (28 percent) and targeting new consumer and business sectors (28 percent). While most companies (59 percent) expect to grow organically, a significant number plan to expand through an acquisition/merger (25 percent) or private equity funding (22 percent).
"Business leaders are eager to leverage the improving economy," said Beau Cummins, commercial and business banking executive at SunTrust. "They view this as a time to grow and are making strategic investments, exploring avenues for expansion and examining other opportunities throughout the marketplace."
Small businesses with annual revenue of $2-10 million mirrored the sentiments of the mid-market companies. Seventy-eight percent felt prepared for growth, and 74 percent were positive about the current strength of their own business. Thirty-one percent plan to introduce a new product or service.
Top actions to support growth cited by small businesses include a greater focus on business planning and strategy, automating business processes and investing in technology and facilities.
Both small and mid-market business leaders agree that their top challenges are evolving government regulations, changes in healthcare law, uncertainty in the economy and increasing material costs.
"As businesses move forward on their plans, it's crucial that they have a financial partner who can support their evolving needs throughout the lifecycle of their company," said Cummins. "Beyond basic financial services, this includes providing strategic advice, capital markets access, M&A advisory and wealth management to achieve smart growth."
Decision-makers representing approximately 500 small and mid-size businesses participated in the SunTrust/Radius Global Market Research survey. Survey results have a maximum margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points at 95% confidence level.
About SunTrust Banks, Inc.
SunTrust Banks, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, is one of the nation's largest banking organizations, serving a broad range of consumer, commercial, corporate and institutional clients. As of December 31, 2014, SunTrust had total assets of $190.3 billion and total deposits of $140.6 billion. Through its flagship subsidiary, SunTrust Bank, the Company operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states and a full array of technology-based, 24-hour delivery channels. The company also serves clients in selected markets nationally. Its primary businesses include deposit, credit, trust and investment services. Through its various subsidiaries, the company provides mortgage banking, asset management, securities brokerage, and capital market services. SunTrust's Internet address is suntrust.com.
SOURCE SunTrust Banks, Inc.