Small Business Survey Data from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses—Beth Colosimo

As a Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program site, The Mill is fortunate to gain national data from more than the 13,000 pool of 10KSB alums across the country through regular surveys.  This information helps us in Utah stay apprised of national trends and how they relate to what we experience locally.

While Utah’s economy continues to report strong performance, our small businesses are continually plagued with challenges that affect their bottom line.  Anecdotally in my conversations with our small business owners, they worry about how to stay abreast of the growing demands and pressures from a tight labor market, inflation and economic uncertainty, and the light-speed changes in technology.  From a recent survey conducted by our partners at Goldman Sachs, here’s what small businesses around the country confirm as their critical issues:

First and foremost, interest rates and tighter lending conditions are significantly impacting business owners — 77% of small business owners are reporting concern over their ability to access capital, a complete reversal from just one year ago when 77% were confident. And 60% percent said rising interest rates are impacting their ability to service existing debt.
Small business owners are operating in a continuously challenging business climate — 71% of small business owners continue to face increasing inflationary pressures that erode margins, and nearly 50% say profits are lower than pre-pandemic levels.
Workforce challenges remain a key barrier to growth – 79% of businesses looking to hire are finding it difficult to recruit qualified candidates.
Small business owners are facing a credit crunch — With the debt limit looming, 65% of small business owners say they will be negatively impacted if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling.
Child care matters — 80% of small business owners believe access to child care is a barrier to workforce participation.
Technology is changing the game — The majority of small business owners have their eye on AI and rely on social media to market their businesses.
The survey report also cites the need to improve the Small Business Administration (SBA).  The SBA could provide improved federal support as the vehicle to assist in meeting these demands.  Modernizing the SBA would help provide the resources small business owners need to access financing and capital, better navigate government procurement opportunities, and recruit qualified employees.

(Citations from 10KSB Voices Advocacy Survey data published, May, 2023)