Commuter Chronicles

SMB Forecast for 2017: Millennials Rising (Along with the Cost of Healthcare)

[fa icon="calendar"] 2/21/17


The Business Journals (publisher of the Dallas Business Journal, among others) recently conducted a survey of 400 small and medium-sized business owners about their outlooks on future business prospects. Overall, SMB owners were optimistic about their prospects for 2017, with a couple of exceptions.

Some of the findings:

  • 51% of SMBs feel that they have a responsibility to address key social and environmental issues, an increase of 5% in two years. 45% of them are actively working to make sustainability an integral part of their products and services.
  • DFW enjoyed the third highest business establishment growth rate among the top 50 Metropolitan Statistical Areas—growing by 7.1% between 2009 and 2014.
  • The highest growth industries between 2009 and 2014 were healthcare and social assistance, accommodations and professional/tech services. Declining industries were construction and manufacturing.
  • As we’ve noted, Millennials will make up the largest share of the workforce by 2020. SMB owners are becoming increasingly aware that they’ve got to start focusing on meeting their demands. According to Business Insider, Millennials are more motivated by meaningful work than salary, as compared to boomer-aged workers.

  • SMBs also are growing increasingly concerned about cyber security. Fully 50% are somewhat concerned and 28% are very concerned—and with good reason. The Business Journal’s SMB Insights estimates that in 2017, 12% of SMBs will be victim to a cyber security breach. With customer data (and relationships) at risk, any breach can be devastating. The study estimates that 60% of SMBs will close their doors within 6 months of a data breach!

  • And finally, (no surprise to anyone given the political wrangling over healthcare and the influx of aging Baby Boomers into the system), 63% of SMBs are very concerned about the rising cost of health insurance and employee benefits in 2017.


Given that 72% of SMBs pay most or all of their employees’ health insurance costs, companies are always looking for ways to slow or offset increases without significantly reducing employee benefits that are an essential tool for recruiting and retaining talent.


That’s where DART is smart.

DART’s employer pass:

  • promotes sustainability—it can even help your business qualify for LEED certification is an attractive benefit that fits Millennials’ lifestyles—they are more likely to choose to live without a car and use their commute time wisely
  • saves money—on parking, on costs of driving and offers possible tax benefits
  • encourages physical fitness—the short walk between the DART station or stop and your place of work gives your employees daily exercise, reduces stress, and improves cardiovascular health. And, having healthier employees can lower healthcare costs.


You might not be able to completely avoid computer hacks or the cost of healthcare, but you can offset some of the costs while still giving your employees a valuable perk by enrolling in DART’s ePass program.


Watch our video to see how some of our customers are benefitting from DART's employer pass program.



Want to learn more? Complete the form below if you’re interested in learning how DART's ePass can help your organization. We'll be in touch with you soon!