According to Dallas Haun, CEO of Nevada State Bank, “Small businesses account for more than half of Nevada’s private sector job growth. If our business leaders and government officials understand their concerns, maybe we can help address them and move forward to a more positive future.” With this in mind, each year the bank commissions Las Vegas-based research firm Applied Analysis to survey more than 400 business owners, operators and managers throughout the state whose companies generate annual revenues between $500,000 and $5.5 million.

The results of Nevada State Bank’s 2016 Small Business Survey were recently released, with insights on small business people’s opinions in several areas, including the economy, government and legislation, and finance. New this year were questions surrounding community involvement, charitable giving and employee volunteerism.

Compared to the 2015 survey report, Nevada’s business people this year are more optimistic about the future, with more of them making plans to expand. About four in 10 respondents feel the business environment in the Silver State has improved over the past year, and more than 45 percent reported increased profitability during the preceding 12 months. However, 51.8 percent say they still have not fully recovered from the recession.

Roughly six in 10 respondents believe Nevada’s economy is headed in the right direction, relatively unchanged from last year. Perceptions about the national economy worsened slightly, with 53 percent stating the economy is headed in the wrong direction, up from 48 percent a year ago.

The survey asked, “What is the single most important challenge you face as a small business today?” The top four concerns for the past two years were the same: attracting new customers and new business, hiring and retaining quality employees, financial stability and cash flow, and government regulation and legislation. However, the order differed slightly from last year, when government regulation and legislation were the top concern, perhaps because of worries about proposed new business taxes. This year that concern dropped to number four. Attracting new customers and new businesses took the top spot, reflecting companies’ expectations of growth and recovery.

Access to capital and credit is important for nearly all small businesses, and nearly 80 percent of those surveyed believe that it remains difficult for a small business to get credit from a bank, similar to the response over the last two years. Nearly 30 percent of this year’s respondents have applied for a loan, credit line or other type of financing in the past year (a decrease of more than 50 percent), with just under 50 percent of those approved for the full amount. This is down from 62.4 percent in the previous Nevada State Bank Small Business Survey.

Nevada small businesses’ commitment to helping their communities was evident in the results in the first-ever survey about charitable giving and employee volunteerism. The survey found that more than 80 percent give back to the community through in-kind donations, cash donations, sponsorships, or employee volunteerism, or through serving on nonprofit boards or committees.

The information in the Small Business Survey report should prove valuable for policy makers as well as for any companies involved in business-to-business transactions in Nevada.

For a copy of Nevada State Bank’s 2016 Small Business Survey report, please visit

The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of ZB, N.A.