Verizon survey: Financial fears grow among small business owners with inflation top of mind

Verizon survey: Financial fears grow among small business owners with inflation top of mind

EXCLUSIVE: The latest Verizon Business survey found a growing number of small business owners are worried about their financial security with inflation cited as their biggest headache.

And a majority say business is not better than it was a year ago.

The annual State of Small Business poll conducted by Morning Consult and released Thursday shows rising prices remain decision-makers’ prime concern, with more than 82% of respondents expressing worries over inflation.

Verizon survey: Financial fears grow among small business owners with inflation top of mind

Lynn Gooden, 44, updates inventory in her business, Mother’s Hair Beauty Supply, Aug. 16, 2022, in Houston. The latest Verizon Small Business survey shows owners are increasingly concerned about their own financial security. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Verizon’s survey also found that, of owners polled last month, 72% said they are concerned about their own financial security, up from 66% last year and 67% in August 2020.

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Supply chain woes remain a pain point too, particularly for certain industries, Verizon found.

Keeping up inventory levels and fulfillment schedules was cited as a concern of 72% of respondents from the food and beverage industry, 69% of bars and restaurants and 62% of retailers.

supply chain beverage

Supply chain issues remain a particular pain point for several industries. (Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Concerns over cybersecurity climbed markedly over the past year among small businesses as well, with 55% citing viruses and cyber risk as a worry compared to 31% in 2021. 

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That might explain why respondents said technology investments were the last to be cut, with only 29% saying such expenses were or could be on the chopping block compared to lesser priorities such as employee events (59%) or operational investments (39%).

In this tight labor market, some 80% of small businesses said they have not laid off employees over the past year, and 87% said they have not had to cut their employees’ wages. 

US hiring sign

A “help wanted” sign is displayed in a window in Manhattan July 28, 2022. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images / Getty Images)

But 61% of business owners said they had invested in technologies over the past two years aimed at better serving customers.

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The data also pointed to disappointment in some small business owners’ expectations.

Although 68% of decision-makers forecast that their shops would be doing better this year than last, less than half (46% ) reported that business has improved.

While optimism for the future is lower in 2022 than it was in 2021, a majority (56%) of small businesses said they believe business will be better a year from now.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/verizon-small-business-survey-finds-rise-owners-financial-fears-inflation-top-mind