The last 2.5 years have seen our world change significantly. As a friend recently said, “not only has the cheese moved, but it is also a different cheese.” No truer words have been said. And yet, through all of this, business has carried on. It is what you do, through thick and thin, through pandemic, workforce shortages and supply chain concerns, you make it work.
In a recent email from the US Chamber of Commerce, I read a study about the Small Business Index, a study of the health of business in the US, and the findings were not necessarily surprising.
Inflationary costs and supply chain issues were cited as the greatest concern of businesses, however, businesses remain “optimistic about their day-to-day operations and expectation for the future”. Also cited, but seemingly less worrisome, are the issues of the Great Resignation, and workforce shortages.
Small business responses regarding COVID 19 safety protocols and compliance noted them as a top challenge over the last three quarters, while they wait for a return to normal, with 51% believing it will be six months to a year for that to happen.
Employers have also been adjusting to accommodate workers. A majority reported implementing changes to recruit and retain employees. The most popular offering was increasing flexibility in scheduling, next was increased wages and lastly, providing employees with opportunities to grow/learn. A little less than half of the respondents agreed that the worker shortage will be resolved in 2022, and despite that, many believed their business was winning in the talent department with clear plans for recruitment and retention.
Small businesses (67%) responded that they intended to raise prices of their goods and services to fight inflation. Some businesses have reduced staff or taken out loans in the past year to cover growing costs. In all, the report was positive and reflective of the sentiment across the US, that things will get better. You can read the full report here.
Since March 2020, when the world turned upside down, and the cheese moved and changed flavor, business has evolved, pivoted, and changed. Like Lazarus, we rise, we overcome and persevere. This time shall pass, and we will look back on it, the lessons we learned, and we will talk about how we made it through, together.
Gioia Goodrum, President/CEO
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