Jan 24, 2022 - Economy

Small businesses see hiring as No. 1 worry

Illustration of a dotted outline of a shop worker wearing an apron.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Almost every small business owner in a Goldman Sachs survey is having trouble hiring — and two-thirds think the federal government has done too little to ease their hiring, supply-chain and inflation worries.

Why it matters: The Goldman Sachs research gives a vivid window into the continuing headwinds and hardship for entrepreneurs.

The survey included 1,466 participants in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, representing 47 states. 58% were women.

  • By far, finding and retaining employees was seen as the biggest problem facing small business, with supply chain issues and inflation far behind.
  • Nevertheless, 73% of small business owners said they’re optimistic about the financial trajectory of their businesses this year.

Joe Wall, national director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices, told Axios: "This new data clearly shows that the economic headwinds created by the pandemic are stronger than ever — and keep hitting Main Street hardest."

  • "Congress needs to seriously consider additional policies and programs, like reauthorizing the COVID EIDL [Economic Injury Disaster Loan] program, to aid in the recovery of small businesses."

Other key findings: 71% said the rise in COVID cases due to Omicron has hurt revenue.

  • 37% say their businesses had to close temporarily or scale back due to the recent COVID surge.

These small businesses see tough times continuing:

  • Just 29% think things in the U.S. are moving in the right direction.
  • 24% describe the state of the American economy as excellent or good.

Go deeper: Read the survey, "Small Businesses on the Brink."

Go deeper