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Small Business Owners Across The United States ‘Sounding The Wail’ On Direction Of Country Recovery From Pandemic As They Fight Worker Shortages, Inflation And The Delta Variant Of Covid -19, according to a new survey.

The report, released by Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses Voices, was released to coincide with the Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Week. He also found that the mental health of employees is of great concern and that black-owned businesses face even more acute challenges.

Only 38% of those polled believe the country is moving in the right direction, which represents a 29% collapse in trust from June. More and more business owners – 40% – now see the country as being on the wrong track.

Up to 74% of small business owners have expressed concern about the impact of rising Covid-19 infection rates on their businesses in light of the massive increase in the number of cases attributed to Delta variant.

Inflationary pressure is also hitting small businesses, with 86% of owners saying it was a concern and 84% saying they saw an increase in their operating costs.

In what may be a sign that inflation may continue to rise, 81 percent of those polled said inflationary pressures have increased since June and 74 percent said their business’ financial health has been negatively affected by inflation.

When considering their employees, many owners face challenges with hiring, mental health, and child care coverage.

Labor shortages continue to be felt, with small businesses often struggling to compete with the incentives offered by large employers.

Some 73 percent of small business owners currently advertise full-time or part-time employees, but 87 percent of those who hire struggle to find qualified candidates. Four-fifths say that problems in filling vacancies are starting to impact their bottom line.

One of the main reasons for the job crisis is how the pandemic has upset childcare, with schools shifting to distance learning. As schools reopen, it is hoped that this pressure will ease, but 44% of those surveyed say a return to distance learning would make it difficult to retain employees.

A staggering 49 percent responded that their employees have faced mental health issues as a result of the pandemic, and only a fifth say they can afford to provide their staff with sufficient mental health resources.

So it’s no surprise to see 64 percent of small business owners say their workforce issues have worsened compared to the pre-pandemic economic climate.

The report also found that small black-owned businesses face a more dangerous recovery trajectory compared to their peers. Only 20 percent of black-owned small businesses are very confident that they would be able to access capital if 11 percent less than their peers were needed.

Fifty-one percent of black-owned businesses have less than three months of cash reserves in the event of an emergency or other coroanavirus-related business shutdown, seven percent more than their peers.

Some 54% of black-owned small businesses expect to need to take out a loan or line of credit for their business in the next six months, while only 29% of non-black business owners thought they would be in. the same situation. .

Even in terms of employment levels, black-owned small businesses have been slower to recover. Overall, the median number of employees for a small business before the pandemic was 11 and is now 10. For black-owned businesses, the respective numbers are nine and six.

As for what the government can do to provide greater support for small businesses, 92 percent say it’s important for the Biden administration to prioritize policies aimed at leveling the playing field for small businesses.

About 96% of those polled said state and local governments should prioritize federal Covid-19 relief funds to allow small businesses to access capital.

A total of 83 percent support President Joe Biden’s July 9 executive order directing the federal government to promote greater competition in procurement and increase opportunities for small businesses.

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The Independent Gt