Main Street USA underwent several economic and logistical roadblocks during the month of February. From red-hot inflation and labor shortages to snarled supply chains and a historical energy crisis, small businesses continue to face extraordinary challenges. “Help Wanted” signs litter storefronts across the United States as businesses struggle to hire and retain workers all while facing increased gas and utility prices. The state of small businesses in America is in crisis because of wasteful and unnecessary spending. When America’s small businesses are strong, America’s economy is strong. Pro-growth and deregulation policies are needed to reinvigorate small businesses and the economy.
The below March 2022 Small Business Snapshot features numbers and news updates to provide more insight into the current small business economy.
The SBA approved a total of $9.1 billion 7(a) Loans through March 11, 2022.
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Job Creators Network: Small Business Owners Give Biden Failing Grades on Inflation and Supply Chain (HERE)
“When it comes to perceptions about the economy, there is a big disparity between the smallest small businesses and larger ones. Sixty-six percent of companies with more than 20 employees consider the economy to be in excellent or good condition, compared to only 24 percent of those with between two and nine workers.”
“Sixty-nine percent of small businesses are still concerned about government coronavirus mandates.”
“Small businesses give lukewarm approval to increasing federal spending and the national debt to provide additional coronavirus relief aid to small businesses, even those who have been hit the hardest. Fifty-four percent strongly or somewhat support more deficit spending to fund additional small business relief.”
National Federation of Independent Business: Rising Inflation Not Slowing Down for Main Street (HERE)
“Today’s report shows there is no sign of inflation slowing down and small businesses continue to feel the effect of the fastest inflation acceleration in decades.”
“Small business owners are navigating this challenging economic environment by making business adjustments to pass on the higher costs of inventory, supplies, and labor, while also managing the ongoing supply chain disruptions and staffing shortages.”
“Small businesses encourage their elected officials to enact policies that will promote economic growth and help, not hinder, the small business recovery.”
Fox Business: “February Inflation: Where Are Rising Prices Hitting Americans The Hardest?” (HERE)
“In February, inflation hit a 40-year high after the consumer price index rose 7.9% compared to a year ago, marking the fastest increase since January 1982, when inflation hit 8.4%. The CPI – which measures a bevy of goods ranging from gasoline and health care to groceries and rents – jumped 0.8% in the one-month period from January.”
In February, fuel oil prices grew a staggering 43.6% since last year, followed by 38% for gasoline, 23.8% for utility gas service and 9% for electricity.”
CNBC: “Big February Job Growth For Economy, But On Main Street It’s Still A Struggle To Find Workers” (HERE)
“Nonfarm payrolls rose by 678,000 in February and the unemployment rate fell to 3.8%, with the job gains much stronger than expected.”
“However, the job recovery has not been the same for small businesses, with companies with fewer than 50 employees still challenged by labor shortages.”
“52% of all small business owners said that it has gotten harder to find qualified people to hire compared to a year ago, according to a recent CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey.”
The Wall Street Journal: “The inflation Hits Just Keep Coming, Raising Stakes for the Fed” (HERE)
“Escalating sanctions by the West to punish Russia for its war against Ukraine are driving fears that an episode of increased inflation, already at its highest levels in 40 years, will become harder to wring out of the U.S. economy without a recession.”
“Renewed pandemic lockdowns in China in recent days are adding even more disruptions to the battered supply chain.”
“The inflation threat for the Fed is twofold. The first risk is that the surge in prices could become intense enough or last long enough to change consumers’ and businesses’ inflation psychology, making those expectations self-fulling. If workers anticipate a robust inflation rate in a year’s time, they will be more likely to push for higher wages now.”
“The second risk is that a tight labor market, with demand for workers far outstripping the supply, generates wage growth that keeps inflation above the Fed’s 2% target.”