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Survey: Small Businesses Ready for Recession

Retailers among those focused on attracting and retaining talent amid inflation and supply-chain challenges




Courtesy of Bank of America

Nearly three-quarters of U.S. small business owners (72 percent) are concerned about the impact of a potential recession, with slightly more (76 percent) confident their business could withstand the downturn. Those are among the findings of Bank of America’s just-released “2023 Small Business Owner Report,” which drew responses from  more than 1000 business owners across the country.

The survey respondents likely included retailers, as more than 98 percent of all companies in that category employ fewer than 50 people, the National Retail Federation reports.

For the survey, small business owners were asked about topics including future plans, sustainability, employee retention and labor. Conducted in March and April, other findings include:

  • 79 percent raised prices over the last 12 months.
  • 53 percent added benefits and perks to retain talent.
  • 49 percent plan to use automation and artificial intelligence (AI) tools for their business in 2023.
  • 34 percent believe the national economy will improve in the next 12 months.

“While the dual pressures of inflation and supply chain disruptions continue to incumber operations, small business owners remain bullish about their prospects for the year ahead,” said Sharon Miller, President of Small Business and Head of Specialty Banking and Lending at Bank of America. “Small businesses are poised for growth, implementing strategies to retain and attract talent and exploring new tools including artificial intelligence to gain an edge in a highly competitive market.”

The survey was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs online between March 16 and April 10, 2023, using a pre-recruited online sample of small business owners. Ipsos contacted 1145 small business owners in the United States with annual revenue between $100,000 and $4,999,999 and employing between two and 99 employees. In addition, approximately 250 small business owners were surveyed in each of 10 target markets: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Click here for the full survey results.



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