New Poll: Small Business Owners Optimistic about Business Prospects but Challenged by Federal Relief Process

For Immediate Release: 
Thursday, May 12, 2022

Poll finds that the majority of small businesses have been negatively impacted by inflation and supply chain disruptions; need additional assistance from federal programs to navigate financial threats 

Washington, D.C. - As small businesses continue to recover from the financial impact of the pandemic, today, Small Business Majority released a survey that shows 65% of small business owners are optimistic about their business prospects but will need continued access to capital to mitigate possible threats to business continuity. 

Although resilient, America’s job creators have been challenged by inflation, supply chain issues, and workforce shortages. Inflation remains their top concern, with the survey revealing that 80% of small business owners have been negatively impacted, while 65% have been negatively affected by supply chain slowdowns, and 52% have been negatively impacted by workforce shortages.

Smaller firms continue to grapple with disruptions to their business operations, which has led to increased financial insecurities. Thirty-two percent say they are unsure how long their business will survive without additional funding or other market changes, while 24% report they may not survive past the next six months. Research has shown that capital helps small businesses thrive and supports good financial health within a community. But when financing is not available or scarce, it can undermine entrepreneurship and create barriers for under-resourced areas.  

“For more than 16 years, I’ve worked to build my business with my son and cultivate a strong clientele,” said Daisy Bedoya, owner of Graphx Signs in Largo, Fla. “But like so many other small business owners, I struggled to keep my American dream alive as the pandemic ravaged financial securities. Although small, the total amount that I received from COVID-19 relief funding was just enough to make ends meet and allowed me to sustain entrepreneurship. This funding is critical because small business owners like me are the heart of our nation. But our resources are often the first to be rescinded when funding for other programs is needed. Our economy cannot truly recover and grow from this difficult time if we don’t support sustained and equally disbursed funding for small business programs.”

The survey reveals that government programs such as the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) have helped small businesses keep their doors open. Although COVID-19 relief programs like EIDL provided small businesses in the hardest-hit, low-income areas with small grants, low interest and long-term loans, the survey uncovered issues with the decision and waiting process. The following reflects the experiences of the survey respondents:  

  • 32% applied for but did not receive EIDL

  • 41% who applied for an increase to their EIDL did not receive it

  • 30% who applied for an increase to their EIDL are still awaiting a decision on their application 

“As inflation soars and small businesses continue to utilize their limited resources to compete with larger firms in this unpredictable market, Congress must keep funding for small business programs intact,” said John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO, Small Business Majority. “More than 55 business organizations agreed and joined us in telling congressional leaders to preserve funding allocated for the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI)—a proven program with a 10:1 private capital leverage. Our new survey reveals that despite their resilience, entrepreneurs are still challenged by the impacts of the pandemic. We urge policymakers to work tirelessly for solutions that will keep the doors open for all entrepreneurs.”

The survey reflects the opinions of 344 small business owners between March 9 through March 29, 2022. The margin of error is +/- 5%. One in three respondents are self-employed and more than half are owners of businesses with 10 or fewer employees. 73% of respondents are women small business owners and 63% are minority business owners. To read the full report, visit:  


About Small Business Majority

Small Business Majority is a national small business organization that empowers America's diverse entrepreneurs to build a thriving and equitable economy. We engage our network of more than 85,000 small businesses and 1,500 business and community organizations to deliver resources to entrepreneurs and advocate for public policy solutions that promote inclusive small business growth. Our work is bolstered by extensive research and deep connections with the small business community that enable us to educate stakeholders about key issues impacting America’s entrepreneurs, with a special focus on the smallest businesses and those facing systemic inequities. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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