New Survey: Small Businesses Continue to be Negatively Impacted by Supply Chain Disruptions; Majority Support Paid Family and Medical Leave Provision in U.S. House-passed Build Back Better Plan

For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Poll finds that nearly half of small businesses have struggled to acquire new inventory during the holiday season

Washington, D.C. - Small Business Majority released a new survey today that reveals almost half of small businesses have been impacted by ongoing supply chain problems that have disrupted their operations during the busy holiday season, and many small businesses are still struggling to keep their businesses afloat during the pandemic. 

Specifically, 47% of small businesses report that they have been forced to increase prices on their services and goods due to ongoing supply chain challenges, while only 25% of respondents reported that they had not been affected. Forty-six percent have had to limit their ability to acquire new inventory, and 40% have delayed fulfilling customer orders. 

Moreover, amid supply chain disruptions and the U.S. Senate's ongoing debate on the Build Back Better plan, many small businesses expressed strong support for federal measures that will help them face possible setbacks by providing them with the resources they need to recruit and retain a strong workforce. For example, the survey reveals that 65% of America’s job creators support a proposal to offer four weeks of paid family and medical leave. 

“The pandemic continues to exacerbate the resource gaps between small business and large companies,” said Dr. Cindy Banton, CEO of AVID Consulting, LLC in Chandler, Ariz. “During this time of uncertainty, I want to provide comparable benefits for my employees, such as paid leave, but without help, I simply cannot afford to financially support employees if they need time off to care for a newborn or sick loved one. Key investments in central benefits included in the Build Back Better plan will better position small businesses like mine to operate on a level playing field with larger competitors. I hope that our government officials do all that they can to support a robust care economy and help small businesses withstand future crises.” 

In addition to supporting investments in benefits in the Build Back Better plan, the survey finds that small business owners continue to favor COVID-19 vaccine requirements for businesses. Of those small businesses with employees, 42% require all or some of their workers to be vaccinated, and an additional 21% are considering doing so. This number has grown since our last survey in September, when 36% reported requiring all or some of their employees to be vaccinated. 

The survey also finds that despite most small businesses not being subject to the administration’s COVID-19 vaccination order, a majority support (56% total support, 45% strongly support) the rule that would require businesses with 100 or more employees to require coronavirus vaccines and/or regular testing for their workers.  

While new coronavirus variants surge, small businesses continue to face challenges in sustaining their operations. Twenty-six percent say that they may not survive past six months without additional funding or market changes. Thirty-seven percent say their business is on the decline compared to the previous month. Small employers are looking for strong steps to protect themselves and their employees from an ongoing public health crisis and lessen business disruptions. As such, Small Business Majority recently filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals to uphold the vaccine rule currently being legally challenged.  

“The holiday season has historically been stressful for small business owners who rely on this time to double their revenue and promotion opportunities,” said John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority. “However, this year’s supply chain disruptions and uncertainty around the enactment of key measures in the Build Back Better plan have created undue pressure for entrepreneurs who were already operating on a tight profit margin (36% of survey respondents report their household income is less than $50,000). As this survey reveals, small businesses are still facing significant setbacks from the pandemic, and they need more support to ensure their operations remain stable. We’re hopeful that as debate continues around important proposals such as Build Back Better, small businesses will be considered as a central factor in building an equitable and thriving economy.”

The survey reflects the opinions of 481 small business owners in Small Business Majority’s network fielded between October 22 through November 27, 2021. 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 advocate for public policy solutions and deliver resources to entrepreneurs that promote equitable small business growth. Our deep connections with the small business community along with our scientific research enable us to educate the public about key issues impacting America’s entrepreneurs, with a special focus on advancing the smallest businesses and those facing systemic inequalities. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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