America’s small business community is still reeling under heavy inflation, according to a new survey as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) prepares to release its Producer and Consumer Price Indexes on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
The survey of a universe of over 65,000 small business owners, a joint project of PublicSq. and RedBalloon.work, found that 84% of respondents strongly disagreed that “inflation has calmed and is no longer an issue for me or my business.”
Additionally, 93.9% “strongly agreed” that “families and consumers are still hurting from inflation.” And 32% believe the coming Christmas season’s sales will be somewhat less than average, with 52% saying much less.
Additionally, 75.3% of respondents said that the current Fed policy of interest rates being “higher for longer” will “hurt my business.”
This has resulted in a significant spike in business pessimism from August to September. Business owners who are “pessimistic” or “worried” about their businesses rose to 54.3%, a significant jump of 23.9% from August.
“The economic pressures of runaway government spending and high-interest rates continue to hinder small business growth,” Andrew Crapuchettes RedBalloon CEO said. “If the US government and the Fed want the backbone of the US economy to survive, they will ease interest rates and reduce government regulation so that the free market can get back to creating great jobs and producing great products.”
If the US economy is to ensure a 'no-lumps-of-coal' holiday season, the government needs to take decisive action – and soon. The Freedom Economy is quickly losing optimism but if government regulations on the economy are eased, there may yet be time to make this a holly jolly Christmas.
The September 2023 Freedom Economy Index, a joint project of PublicSq. and RedBalloon, sampled a universe of over 60,000 small businesses from September 25-29, with 1,126 respondents and a 3% margin of error at the 95% confidence level.
Download the full September report here.