Chase-Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Survey: Seattle Area Small Business Owners Significantly More Positive About

  Chase-Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Survey: Seattle Area Small
  Business Owners Significantly More Positive About Their Local Economy Than
  Small Business Owners Nationwide

Strength of local economy, quality of living and creativity cited as positive
     attributes contributing to growth for Seattle area small businesses

Business Wire

SEATTLE -- June 19, 2013

An overwhelming majority of Seattle area small business owners believe that
the Seattle economy is stronger than the national economy, according to the
2013 Chase-Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Pulse of the Small
Business Survey. More than eight-in-10 (83 percent) Seattle area small
business owners feel that their local economy is stronger than the national
economy compared to 55 percent nationwide. Still, more than half (56 percent)
of Seattle area small business owners believe the national economy is getting
better, compared to about a third (34 percent) nationwide.

The survey also revealed that seven-in-10 Seattle area small business owners
expect an increase in revenue over the next 12 months. Specifically, more than
a third (34 percent) expect their businesses’ revenue to increase by more than
10 percent. A majority (52 percent) have reported an increase in revenue over
the past 12 months, compared to 44 percent nationwide, fueling Seattle area
small business owners’ positive economic outlook. The survey results were
released today by Chase at a Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce event.

“Seattle is a thriving community whose creative energy is clearly helping
small businesses to thrive, grow and keep our local economy moving,” said Tim
Howell, business banking market manager for the Pacific Northwest, Chase.
“Chase believes that small businesses are the engine of our nation’s economic
growth, especially in Seattle, and we’re proud to support the continued
success of small businesses within the community.”

Strong Seattle Economy Brings Growth

More than two-fifths (42 percent) of Seattle area small business owners
believe that their local economy has had a positive impact on the growth of
their business, which is 22 percentage points higher than those nationwide.
Over the past year, Seattle area small business owners have increased
contracts and their customer base (34 percent), expanded products and services
offered (33 percent) and hired more employees (22 percent) - all signs of a
strong local economy.

“Seattle is a great place for small businesses to grow into big businesses,”
said Maud Daudon, president and CEO, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
“The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce works hard to facilitate this
growth because we know that when the business community thrives, the whole
community is healthy.”

Seattle Small Businesses Continue to Hire

Contributing to the growing economy, a quarter of Seattle area small business
owners reported an increase in the number of jobs at their businesses over the
past 12 months, compared to 17 percent nationwide. In addition, more than half
(56 percent) of Seattle area small business owners have maintained their
current staff levels in the last year, while three-in-10 are currently hiring.
Seattle area small business owners expect this hiring trend to continue as 38
percent are looking to increase the number of jobs at their businesses in the
next 12 months.

Although more than six-in-10 (64 percent) small business owners in the Seattle
area find it difficult to acquire qualified employees for their businesses,
local small business owners reported on what they value most in candidates.
Work experience (55 percent) proves to be the most valuable attribute of a
qualified employee, followed by higher education (13 percent) and training (11
percent).

Local Attributes Driving Small Business

The Seattle economy (44 percent), local environment and quality of life (40
percent) and creative energy (33 percent) are viewed by small business owners
as the top three benefits of doing business in the Seattle area. In addition,
two-fifths of Seattle area small business customers come from their local
community. These benefits seem to be paying off as more than three-fifths (63
percent) of Seattle area small business owners report that they have been in
business for more than 10 years, including 38 percent who have been in
business for more than 20 years.

About the Survey

The 2013 Chase-Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Pulse of the Small
Business Survey is an online poll of 213 small business owners in the Seattle
area conducted April 12-May 2, 2013. In addition to the Seattle area survey,
an online poll of a randomly-selected sample of 802 small business owners
nationwide was conducted April 9-16, 2013. The margin of error for the
national survey is ±3.5 percentage points and larger for subgroups.

About Chase

Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase &
Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4
trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Chase serves more than 52
million consumers and small businesses through more than 5,600 bank branches,
18,700 ATMs, credit cards, mortgage offices, and online and mobile banking as
well as through relationships with auto dealerships. More information about
Chase is available at www.chase.com.

About the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is the largest and most diverse
business association in the Puget Sound region. Founded in 1882 by local
business leaders, the Chamber today is an independent organization
representing 2,200 companies and a regional workforce of approximately
700,000. At the Chamber, we believe that the business community thrives when
the whole community is healthy. And we believe our region is uniquely
positioned to compete in the global marketplace because we embrace three key
attributes: we create jobs, we are responsible stewards of the environment,
and we ensure access and opportunity for all.

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Contact:

Chase Card Services
Nicole Kennedy, 302-282-5011
nicole.kennedy@chase.com
 
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