As consumers tighten their belts, small business owners face challenges during the holiday season
As the holiday season approaches, consumers are not the only ones feeling the impact of rising inflation. Small business owners across the country are also feeling the pinch, according to Mike O’Halloran, the Maryland state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). With limited discretionary funds, both consumers and small business owners are facing uncertainty and economic challenges. This article explores the concerns and prospects of small business owners during this holiday season.
Small Business Owners Lack Optimism for Small Business Saturday
Small business owners are hopeful that consumers will choose to spend their discretionary funds locally on Small Business Saturday. However, O’Halloran reveals that owners are not optimistic about the prospects. The economic uncertainty and inflationary pressures have left small business owners worried about the future of their businesses. O’Halloran emphasizes the need for consumers to support local businesses during this critical time.
Inflation Tops the List of Small Business Owners’ Worries
According to an October survey conducted by the NFIB, 22% of small business owners stated that inflation is their primary concern. The rising costs of goods and services have put a strain on their profit margins and ability to maintain competitive prices. This challenge is further compounded by the difficulty in finding qualified applicants to fill job vacancies. The tight labor market adds to the overall uncertainty faced by small business owners.
Plans for Growth Amidst Challenges
Despite the concerns, the October survey also revealed some positive outlooks. Seventeen percent of small businesses surveyed expressed their intention to increase employment, while 24% planned capital outlays for equipment upgrades or expansion. O’Halloran highlights the importance of investing in businesses, whether it be through improving a restaurant’s infrastructure or purchasing new equipment for a manufacturing shop. However, finding qualified employees remains a significant hurdle for small business owners across various sectors, including cybersecurity, healthcare, and Main Street businesses.
Small Business Saturday: A Lifeline for Main Street
O’Halloran emphasizes the significance of Small Business Saturday, calling it a “godsend” for Main Street communities. Supporting local businesses not only benefits the owners but also provides customers with a unique and personalized experience. O’Halloran encourages consumers to consider shopping at small businesses not only on Small Business Saturday but throughout the year.
As the holiday season approaches, small business owners face challenges due to rising inflation and a tight labor market. While some business owners remain optimistic about their growth plans, finding qualified employees and maintaining competitive prices are ongoing concerns. Small Business Saturday serves as a lifeline for Main Street communities, offering consumers an opportunity to support local businesses and experience personalized service. The future remains uncertain, but with continued support, small business owners hope to weather the storm and thrive in the face of economic challenges.