by J.D. Davidson
Small businesses across Ohio find themselves in the middle of what one of the leading advocates in the nation calls a perfect storm of issues, causing continued concern and struggles.
A new survey from the Ohio branch of the National Federation of Independent Business shows labor issues, supply chain problems and inflation create significant hurdles as mom-and-pop businesses around the state continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Right now, for small business owners, it’s the perfect storm. There are still significant struggles,” said Robert Geiger, Ohio executive director for the NFIB. “Ohio is seeing an economic recovery with unemployment at almost record lows and holiday sales up over 8%, beating expert predictions. But, for the small business community, hiring, sales and supply chain issues continue to be problematic.”
The survey showed 72% of small business owners are finding it difficult to fill open vacancies and 53% are struggling to find candidates. Nearly 60% have had to alter business hours because of the lack of employees.
That, the survey showed, is expected to lead to reduced revenues as 63% said they expected to see no gain or even a loss in revenues in the next six months.
To meet the labor issues, nearly half of those surveyed said they have raised wages and 1 in 5 plan on doing so again soon. At the same time, 25% of respondents said they also have raised the level of benefits to either hire or retain employees.
With talk of delays from supply chain issues throughout the holiday season strong, 70% of small businesses in Ohio saw delays for products or parts to manufacture products. The same number believes the issue will not get better in the next six months.
“While key pieces of economic recovery legislation were signed into law in 2021 by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, we need to keep that momentum moving forward so we can see even more improvement in 2022 in creating an environment where small businesses owner can thrive in our state and continue to offer employment opportunities and investment in their local communities,” Geiger said. “Right now, entrepreneurs need all Ohioans, who are eligible, to return to work and for consumers to support the small businesses of their community.”
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J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher. He is a regional editor for The Center Square.