Financial strains drive small business election decisions

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PROVIDENCE — Rising costs and economic uncertainty are top concerns for small business owners when it comes to who they will support in the upcoming election, according to a new Goldman Sachs survey.

Specifically, business owners support candidates who commit to reauthorizing the US Small Business Administration, a sentiment shared by more than 80% of respondents to Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses Voices program.

The SBA and its support for small businesses is particularly important given fears of an economic recession, which more than 4 in 10 respondents say has already arrived, while 62% anticipate a recession in the next year. coming year. Many are already feeling the pain of a looming recession, such as lower customer demand (cited by 54%) and difficulties raising capital or rising borrowing costs (cited by 29%).

Inflation continues to add to financial stress, with more than three-quarters of respondents experiencing worsening effects of inflation over the past three months. Already, more than two-thirds have raised the prices of their goods or services to help offset these economic headwinds, but that comes with new concerns. Eight in 10 small business owners fear losing customers to larger competitors who can offer better prices because their size allows them to absorb inflationary cost increases.

“Small business owners continue to be hampered by inflationary pressures and difficulty in hiring skilled workers – challenges that small business owners perceive to be getting worse as larger companies are able to absorb the pressures. inflationary and deliver more lucrative employee benefits in ways they simply can’t,” Joe Wall, national director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices, said in a statement. “Congress must give Prioritizing the reauthorization of the Small Business Administration to put small businesses on a stronger footing to compete with big business.”

Small businesses are also struggling to compete with larger companies when it comes to hiring, with nearly three-quarters saying the better wages and benefits that larger companies can offer pose a challenge in finding workers. Overall, a third of small businesses say hiring has become more difficult over the past three months, while nearly 60% are paying more in benefits compared to 2021.

The survey reflects results from 1,479 participants in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses in 47 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. Rhode Island-specific data were not available.

Nancy Lavin is a staff writer for PBN. You can reach her at [email protected]

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