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Small Businesses Want More Pandemic Help from Feds

Small business owners are struggling with an unprecedented set of challenges hurting their bottom line, according to new national survey. 

The report released Monday by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices showed there is overwhelming support—82 percent of respondents–for the federal government to provide additional emergency financial assistance for small businesses. Eighty-six percent of small business owners support Congress reauthorizing the COVID-Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which expired at the end of 2021. 

Seventy-nine percent of survey respondents are concerned about the ongoing pandemic, with 71 percent reporting that the rise in COVID-19 cases brought on by the Omicron variant has adversely impacted their revenue. Thirty-seven percent said their business had been forced to temporarily close or scale back operations due to the recent rise in cases. 

Ongoing supply chain constraints is a concern of 68 percent of those surveyed and 69 percent said the issue has negatively impacted their business revenue. Sixty-six percent of impacted businesses said it is a problem that suppliers are favoring large businesses over small companies due to the volume of orders. 

The most significant challenge facing small business owners is labor shortages, with 87 percent finding it difficult to recruit qualified candidates for open positions. Hiring and retaining workers is also having a worsening impact on revenue, as 97 percent of small businesses hiring say labor shortages are impacting their bottom line, reflecting a 17 percent increase from Sept. 2021, according to the report. 

In New York, 86 percent of small business owners say inflation, supply chain issues and workforce challenges are having a negative impact on their business. Eighty-nine percent of small businesses in New York support Congress increasing access to affordable childcare and 59 percent of small business owners and their employees have faced childcare challenges during the pandemic. Eighty-nine percent also support subsidized paid family and medical leave for small businesses. 

“Approaching the second anniversary of the onset of the pandemic, it is abundantly clear that small business owners across the country are facing more challenges than ever and simply cannot catch a break,” Jessica Johnson-Cope, chair of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices National Leadership Council and president of Johnson Security Bureau in the Bronx. “The relentless pressures to pivot brought by this never-ending pandemic, coupled with the difficult labor market, inflation and supply chain constraints are all pushing small businesses to the brink.”

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