According to the latest MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index, small businesses’ worry about inflation has grown significantly in the last three months. The Index showed that in the third quarter of this year, 60 percent of small businesses said they were very or somewhat worried about inflation, up from 50 percent in the second quarter.
While some business owners are finding ways to work around these difficulties, others are feeling the pressure more acutely. In addition, most small businesses think the current economic conditions are not good. This contrasted with a few months ago when most small businesses thought the economy was in good shape. However, the percentage of small businesses that feel this way has decreased slightly in the last quarter.
This quarter’s score of 62.1 represents the most significant drop since the start of the pandemic, which has taken a toll on small businesses throughout the country. As a result, many small businesses have been forced to close their doors, and those that remain open are struggling to keep up with rising costs.
Compared to last quarter, small business owners feel less comfortable with their cash flow and have more negative expectations about revenue and staffing levels. Although two-thirds (66%) say they’re currently content with their cash flow situation, this marks a seven-percentage point drop from the previous quarter—the first significant decline in this measure since mid-2020. In addition, the percentage of small businesses telling us they expect to add staff and those predicting more revenues next year declined a little this quarter, but these shifts are minor.
Furthermore, those surveyed see the economy as more unpredictable than in years before and have more significant worries about the economy’s future. Three-fifths of respondents believe the economy fluctuates quicker now than it did previously. Eighty-eight percent of Americans are anxious about the U.S. economy tanking in the next twelve months – more than half of them very concerned.
The most common concerns of small businesses have been related to the cost of goods and services, health care, and taxes. The effects of the pandemic are still being felt by small businesses across the country. The MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index provides a snapshot of how small businesses are feeling and what their concerns are. As the government continues to grapple with the pandemic, it is essential to keep an eye on small businesses and see how they are faring. Governmental organizations and private entities alike are working to find solutions to this problem, but it remains to be seen whether they will be successful. In the meantime, small business owners must do everything they can to keep their businesses afloat.
The MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index is a quarterly measure of the relative confidence of small business owners in the United States. The Index is compiled from a survey of 1,203 small business owners and managers nationwide.
Small Business Index Statistical Highlights
The Pandemic Has Resulted In The Sharpest Drop In Index Numbers That We Have Seen Yet.
The Index, which measures the sentiment of small businesses in America, fell by seven percentage points from the previous quarter. This is the first significant decline in this measure since mid-2020.
Inflation Is Still The Primary Concern.
Many small businesses (50%) say that inflation is their top challenge. This is a 31-point increase from last year. Inflation has been a growing concern for the past five quarters.
Many People Believe That The Worst Inflation Is Yet To Come.
71% of small businesses are expecting the adverse effects of inflation to continue or worsen in the near future.
The Current National Economy Concerns Small Businesses.
Since last quarter, the number of small businesses that believe that the U.S. economy is in poor health has increased by 10 percentage points to 59%.
A Growing Number Of People Report A Weak Local Economy.
Small businesses are reporting more poor health for their local economies (42%) than good health (31%) for the first time since early 2021.
Fewer People Are Comfortable With Their Cash Flow.
In the past quarter, cash flow comfort among small business owners decreased by seven percent to 66%, marking the first significant drop since April 2020.
Many People Are Anxious About a Possible Downturn.
Small business owners are overwhelmingly anxious about the economy in the next twelve months, with 88% worried and 54% very worried.
While Secondary To Some Degree, Supply Chain, And Revenue Generation Are Nevertheless Significant Concerns.
Despite supply chain and revenue remaining in the top three concerns (26% and 22%, respectively), they take a backseat to inflation, which is still the leading worry at 50%.
The Hiring Plans Of The Smallest Businesses Have Decreased In Recent Months.
Three out of ten small businesses with fewer than five employees are planning to hire new staff next year. This decreased from the last quarter when nine out of ten small businesses were planning on hiring new staff.
How Can Simply Be Found Help Small Business Owners With These Concerns?
Small businesses need to prepare for inflation by finding ways to reduce costs. Difficult times await small business owners during inflation, but the end is not necessarily near. Your business will have to be quick on its feet and able to adapt in order to apply these new strategies successfully. You can help edge out any competition during this time by staying focused, having a clear plan, and executing it flawlessly.
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