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Small Business Insights: Inflation and hiring challenges force small businesses to react

Our latest Small Business Insights report looks at the big issues facing U.S. small businesses today, starting with inflation, hiring, and the ongoing economic recovery from COVID. Dive into the key findings below by using the chapter links.

Inflation

Most small businesses (96%) are concerned about inflation. The top three cost pressures are materials, equipment, and labor. This may be why almost three out of five small businesses (57%) want to raise prices this fall.1

Hiring

Most small business workforces continued to grow in August, but the overall rate of growth has slowed since June. Workforces are currently growing fastest in the information industry, which includes software development. Wages are currently rising fastest in public administration organizations which oversee government programs.2

Recovery

The economic recovery from COVID became more widespread through June and July. Even some of the hardest-hit businesses — including restaurants, clothing stores, and hair studios — are bouncing back. But many travel and entertainment businesses are still struggling.3

Risks

Despite high levels of optimism, small businesses still see the economy as their number one threat today. Rising costs and low demand are creating cash flow problems for some.1

Adaptation

Almost half of small businesses (49%) have remote workers and the number looks set to grow. Almost four out of five (79%) say that investing in digital technology makes them more likely to succeed.1

Growth

Almost two-thirds of small businesses (65%) predict their business will grow this fall. Ecommerce businesses continue to be more upbeat than businesses which do not sell online.1

Up next, a deeper dive into inflation. Use the chapter link to jump to the next section.


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