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

LEAWOOD, KS -- (Marketwired) -- 03/13/14 --

  • 52 percent of Kansas respondents plan on investing in their business this year
  • One-fourth say they will upgrade or purchase new equipment
  • One in five plan to hire more employees or modernize technology and systems

BMO Harris Bank released a study today that found that just over half of Kansas business owners/executives plan on investing in their business in 2014 -- upgrading or purchasing new equipment, adding to their work force and investing in technology and systems being their primary expenditures.

"We are definitely seeing an increase in the number of companies considering investing in their business," said Chad Rock, Director and Team Lead, Commercial Banking, Kansas City, BMO Harris Bank. "Using lessons learned during the recession, businesses appear to be taking a more strategic approach when seeking the best way to pay for those investments."

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

  • 25 percent said they would upgrade or purchase new equipment
  • 21 percent plan to hire more employees
  • 21 percent were focused on modernizing technology and system
  • 14 percent want to expand 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."

Forty-seven percent of Kansas respondents were not planning on making business investments in 2014, with the most popular reasons being they don't have the capital on hand to make the investments (31 percent) and the current economic climate (31 percent).

Financing Options Vary

Nearly two-thirds (60 percent) of those planning to make investments in their business say they will do so with cash reserves. Seven percent plan to fund the investments entirely through borrowing, while one-third plan on doing a combination of both.

"These findings demonstrate that the business community continues to be conservative when it comes to the use of debt for funding growth, stemming from what they learned during the recent recession," added Snyder. "However, with interest rates continuing at historic lows, intermediate-term borrowing should still be strongly considered as an option for financing growth"

National Results from the Survey

When business owners/executives throughout the country were asked about their investments for 2014, the results were:

  • 64 percent of respondents are planning to invest in their business this year
  • That number increases to 82 percent of owners of businesses with revenues over $20 million per year
  • When asked where they were making investments, owners responded:
    • 42 percent said they would upgrade or purchase new equipment
    • 26 percent plan to hire more employees
    • 25 percent were focused on modernizing technology and systems
    • 24 percent planned on expanding operations

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 $593 billion in assets (as of January 31, 2014).

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