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Majority of Businesses in Georgia Plan on Investing in Their Business in 2014 - BMO Harris Bank Study

ATLANTA, GA -- (Marketwired) -- 03/13/14 --

  • 66 percent of Georgia-based respondents plan on investing in their businesses in 2014
  • Hiring topped the list of priorities for business investment, followed closely by upgrading/purchasing new equipment.

BMO Harris Bank released a study today that found that the majority of business owners/executives in Georgia plan on investing in their business in 2014. Hiring more employees tops the list of investment plans, followed closely by upgrades and purchases of equipment.

"Between hiring plans and increasing spending on training, business owners and executives in Georgia are investing in their people," said Todd Giles, Managing Director, Commercial Banking, BMO Harris Bank. "By making significant investments in their businesses, local leaders are displaying confidence in the economy, and confidence in their prospects for growth."

When business owners/executives were asked where they would make those business investments:

  • 34 percent plan to hire more employees
  • 32 percent said they would upgrade or purchase new equipment
  • 24 percent were focused on modernizing technology and systems
  • 24 percent planned on increasing spending on employee training

34 percent of respondents in Georgia were not planning on making business investments in 2014, with the most popular reason being concerns about the current economic conditions.

National Results from the Survey

When business owners/executives nation-wide were asked where they would make business investments:

  • 42 percent said they would upgrade or purchase new equipment
  • 26 percent planned on hiring more employees
  • 25 percent were focused on modernizing technology and systems
  • 24 percent planned on expanding operations

"The numbers shouldn't come as a surprise," added Jud Snyder, Managing Director and Head, BMO Harris Equipment Finance Company. "They reflect what we've seen over the past 18-24 months, with companies making more investments in capital expenditures for both maintenance and expansion."

Notably, business executives and owners of companies with revenues of over $20 million per year were particularly bullish, as over 80 percent planned on investing in their business in 2014.

Financing Options Vary

As for funding, nation-wide, the majority (58 percent) of those planned on making their business investments with cash reserves. 11 percent planned to fund the investments entirely through borrowing, while 31 percent planned on doing a combination of both.

"These findings display continued conservatism when it comes to the use of debt for funding growth, a conservatism that stems from lessons learned during the recent recession," said Snyder. "However, with interest rates still at historically low levels, in many cases, intermediate-term borrowing should still be strongly considered as an option for financing future growth."

For more commentary on the survey findings, visit the BMO Harris Commercial Bank Resource Center:

The survey was conducted by Pollara with an online sample of 601 American business owners in November, 2013. A probability sample of this size would be accurate to +/- 4%, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Arizona and Florida. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, go to the company fact sheet. Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris® and BMO Harris Bank® are trade names used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with approximately 1,600 branches, and approximately CDN $5593 billion in assets (as of January 31, 2014).

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