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Press release from Business Wire

Continued Economic Uncertainty Keeping California Small Business Owners Awake at Night

<p class='bwalignc'> <i>California Bank & Trust Benchmark Survey Also Reveals Concerns about Revenue and Hiring</i> </p>

Monday, May 06, 2013

Continued Economic Uncertainty Keeping California Small Business Owners Awake at Night

16:34 EDT Monday, May 06, 2013

SAN DIEGO (Business Wire) -- What's keeping California's small business owners awake at night? Economic uncertainty and concerns about revenue and cash flow, according to the results of a survey of 558 small business respondents in California conducted byCalifornia Bank & Trust (CB&T). Small business owners cited “continued economic uncertainty” as their chief concern related to owning and operating a small business in California. The overwhelming majority, some 81.8 percent, said California's economic environment presents a challenge to their small business, vs. an opportunity.

Tory Nixon, California Bank & Trust Executive Vice President (Photo: Business Wire)

Tory Nixon, California Bank & Trust Executive Vice President (Photo: Business Wire)

California Bank & Trust fielded its second-annual benchmark survey to gauge the thoughts and opinions of California's small business owners in 2013. The survey was conducted in April asking for perspective on the challenges and opportunities for small businesses in California. “We understand that small businesses are the backbone of our state's economy,” says Tory Nixon, California Bank & Trust Executive Vice President,for the bank. “It's important for us to get first-hand insight about their concerns when it comes to operating a small business in California. While we know that economic uncertainty remains, we are also encouraged by the resilience and dedication we see in our small business community. Understanding their needs and concerns helps us to provide service in a way that is more valuable and meaningful to them.”

Small Business Owners Uneasy About Cash Flow, Hiring

The California Bank & Trust survey also revealed concerns about managing cash and revenue for the businesses. “Cash flow and revenue” ranked top among the concerns from respondents, while “uncertainty in the economy” ranked second and “employee hiring and retention” was third. Meanwhile, nearly 66% of respondents said they did not have plans to hire additional employees in 2013, with about 40.2% citing “economic uncertainty” as the chief rationale for not hiring.

Banking Relationships Seen as Part of the Solution

While fewer small business owners cited a need for added capital in 2013 (46.3%) vs. 2012 (56%), the overwhelming majority do depend on their banking relationship for guidance and success. Some 81.4% described their banking relationship as either “very important” or “somewhat important,” while just 18.6% described it as “not important.” Thirty-one percent of small business operators said their bank is “knowledgeable and responsive” when it comes to their relationship. “Our goal at California Bank & Trust is to understand the customer's business as well as they do,” says Nixon. “With a fundamental understanding of their business, we are able to provide the kind of customized service that will help them succeed. Although there is continued economic uncertainty among small business owners, we continue to provide resources that can help them become and remain strong. We're confident that things are improving in the long run and we want to help our small business customers be part of the ongoing improvement in the great state of California.”

About California Bank & Trust

California Bank & Trust, a subsidiary of Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ: ZION), is one of the largest banks headquartered in California with over $10 billion in assets and nearly 100 branches statewide. CB&T provides a full array of financial solutions for businesses and individuals, including commercial and small business lending, cash management, international banking and wealth management. The professional bankers at CB&T are backed by major resources, yet maintain local-decision making authority and regional market and industry expertise. They are committed to providing clients with valuable business and economic insights and to connecting them with the beneficial business relationships they need to succeed. CB&T is consistently rated by the FDIC as “outstanding” for its Community Reinvestment Act activities and is a Preferred SBA Lender. To learn more, visit www.calbanktrust.com. Connect with California Bank & Trust on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

About the Survey

California Bank & Trust surveyed 558 respondents in California online in April, 2013. The small businesses were defined for the survey as having $10 million or less in annual revenues. For the complete findings of the survey, please click: http://www.calbanktrust.com/smallbiz

Media Please Note:

For further detail about California Bank & Trust's survey, Small Business Banking, or to schedule an interview with Tory Nixon, or to request high-resolution photography or video, please contact Tarah Beaven at Landis Communications, Inc.: (415-359-2306; tarah@landispr.com) or Rob Farmer at Landis Communications, Inc. (415-359-2316; rob@landispr.com).

Landis Communications, Inc.
Tarah Beaven, 415-359-2306
tarah@landispr.com
Rob Farmer,415-359-2316
rob@landispr.com
www.landispr.com

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