Small businesses report they can’t find workers and supply chain issues persist

The help wanted signs are everywhere. If your small business has had trouble hiring, you are not alone. A nationwide survey found that that was a big problem small businesses are facing as they struggle to recover from the pandemic. And hiring challenges are not even the biggest proglem. For many, that is contending with severe   supply chain issues.

Half of small business owners (50%) say it’s gotten harder to find qualified people to hire compared to a year ago, according to the Q3 2021 CNBC | Momentive Small Business Survey. Almost one-third (31%) say they have open roles they have not been able to fill for at least three months, up from 24% last quarter and 16% in Q1 2020.

What’s more, according to the nationwide survey conducted in late July, 41% of small businessas th owners saying they are currently experiencing a rising cost in wages.

Other findings:

  • Only a minority (24%) of small businesses expect to increase staff in the next year, and in the past two to three months, only 16% of small businesses say they have increased staff.
  • 32% of small business owners say they have raised wages in the past three months to attract workers, while 27% have offered more flexible hours, and 24% more on-the-job training.
  • Fewer have offered additional benefits, including enhanced medical (8%), educational benefits (7%) and child-care or elder-care benefits (5%).

While the labor shortage is a big problem for small businesses, the survey results show that it is not even as extreme as the supply shortage and corresponding supply chain disruption that small businesses are still having to navigate. Indeed, that has been a big problem Miami area small businesses have suffered from.

In the survey, four in ten small business owners say they’re currently seeing rising wages for employees, but seven in 10 are experiencing a rising cost in supplies.

Many small business owners are getting hit by all these factors at once,  a situation many small businesses have shared with Growbiz in recent months. 86% of those who say they’re experiencing rising costs of wages also say they’re experiencing rising costs of supplies. The survey finds that more firms (39%) have raised prices than those that have raised wages (33%), and many more (38%) say they may raise prices in the future if cost pressures remain.

Still,  small business confidence has not budged. The Q3 found the overall business sentiment on Main Street unchanged from Q2 2021, even as the Delta variant has become a bigger concern to the economy in Florida and around the country.

Here’s more: Owners describing business conditions as good (36%) was up from last quarter (34%), while those describing business conditions as bad fell one percentage point to 17%. The percentage of small businesses that expect revenue to increase over the next 12 months (45%) and those who expect revenue to stay the same (34%) were unchanged from Q2 2021.

A majority of businesses (66%) say they can continue to operate for more than a year under current conditions

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