National Write Your Congressman Index Reveals Business Owners Express Concerns About U.S. Economic Conditions, Hiring Challenges and Rising Interest Rates
 National Write Your Congressman Index Reveals Business Owners Express Concerns About U.S. Economic Conditions, Hiring Challenges and Rising Interest Rates

National Write Your Congressman Index Reveals Business Owners Express Concerns About U.S. Economic Conditions, Hiring Challenges and Rising Interest Rates

Published Tuesday, July 25, 2023

DALLAS – July 25, 2023 National Write Your Congressman (NWYC), an organization that gives small businesses a voice in government, released its Q2 2023 Index measuring Congressional and business sentiment.  The survey found business owners concerned about hiring qualified workers, keeping up with rising costs of employees’ pay and salary, inflation, taxes and regulations. Seventy-five percent of business owners said their business was not growing or has remained flat. The survey found an overall decrease from last quarter in small business owners’ hope, satisfaction with government action, and trust with of Members of Congress.

 “Business owners are still concerned about U.S. economic conditions with the majority of businesses affected by inflation, rising interest rates and a lack of qualified workforce,” said Randy Ford, President and COO of National Write Your Congressman. “While there is some growth, business outlook remains bleak with the challenges of regulations, access to capital, high-interest rates, and running and maintaining a business in these uncertain economic times. Business owners are feeling an unprecedented sense of urgency to connect with their Member of Congress. It's a crucial time to make sure their elected representatives hear their concerns.”

 Out of the 75 percent of businesses that are declining or have remained flat, top hindrances to growth are finding qualified workers (56 percent), high inflation on raw materials and equipment (51 percent), uncertainty about the future of the U.S. economy (51 percent), supply chain issues and the ability to access raw materials and equipment (38 percent), and high interest rates (37 percent). Businesses experiencing growth attributed it to implementing changes to restructure and refocus their business (18 percent) and renewed interest and/or demand in their industry or line of work (16 percent).

 “We are very fiscally responsible and do not extend ourselves beyond our ability from keeping solvent.  Our concerns are the consistent rising costs of materials we sell to stay competitive in our industry.  Sales have dropped off.  We are extremely fortunate to keep our doors open when many business have folded,” said Diane Myerscough, Office Manager, Pressure Washer Service, Inc. in Clearwater, Florida.

Eighty-eight percent of business owners have been affected by rising interest rates personally and in their business. Seventy-two percent of business owners have had to increase prices of their services or goods, 31 percent have not taken investment opportunities for themselves personally or for their business, and 30 percent have said the cost of borrowing money has negatively affected their business due to high interest rates.

 “Our business depends on other businesses thriving. When they are thriving, we will thrive as well because the people that own those businesses are the people that will purchase our product for their personal use. Once the high earners have opted out of purchasing due to a poor economy and high interest rates, we have a much harder time. We also need to discount our rates in order to move product and this is very hard on the bottom line,” said Josh Gedenberg, General Manager, Arrow Timber Framing in Kalama, Washington.

 “Our greatest concern is for our homeowners to whom we provide service.  They are seeing rising costs everywhere.  They are largely fixing immediate needs, such as leaks or clogs, but many are putting upgrades on the back burner.  Now with the rising costs of everything, they are being squeezed and sadly, we've had to raise our prices to keep up with our rising costs for product,” said Laura Engstrom, President, Alternate Design Plumbing, Inc. in Orange City, Florida.

 Economic Outlook

 Sixty-four percent of small business owners believing the U.S. is currently in a recession, a 3 percent decrease from Q1 2023. Twenty-one percent expect the U.S. to be in a recession by 2024. Inflation is affecting 96 percent of businesses, and 82 percent of owners believe inflation problems will not ease for another two to five years. Only 2 percent of business owners think inflation problems will ease by next year.

 “The economic outlook for our business is not good. We are also concerned with all the laws and regulations that make it so difficult to run a small business. We do not have people that we can dedicate to just keeping up with all the new laws and regulations that keep piling up. It is impossible to stay compliant with all the labor, HR, safety, payroll, environmental, and employment laws that keep changing,” said John Nydam, President, Waterford Irrigation Supply in Waterford, California.

 Congressional Sentiment

 Fifty-five percent of small business owners said they are confident their U.S. Congressional Members know their opinions on important issues. Thirty-nine percent believe their own elected U.S. Congressional Members act according to their constituents' input. Thirty percent of small business owners surveyed said they trust the elected U.S. Congressional Members who represent them, a 30 percent decrease in trust from Q1 2023.

 NWYC’s Quarterly Index Score decreased overall in hope, satisfaction, and trust in Members of Congress from 2.44 in Q1 2023 to 2.37 in Q2 2023. 

 NWYC provides members with non-partisan information and research along with the tools they can use to connect with their representatives in Washington and advocate for the policies and actions that will help their small businesses be successful for their families, their employees, and their communities. 


 NWYC collected data using an online survey administered from June 19 through July 10, 2023. A total of 1016 respondents participated. Respondents represent 48 of the 50 states in the U.S. Sixty-two percent of business owners surveyed employ one to nine employees and 35 percent employ 10-99 employees. 

 About National Write Your Congressman

 National Write Your Congressman (NWYC) is an organization that gives small businesses a voice in American government. As the nation’s largest, privately held, nonpartisan membership organization made up of small businesses, NWYC is dedicated to the delivery of constituent opinions to representatives in Washington. For more than 60 years, NWYC has provided small business owners and operators the tools necessary to connect with members of Congress and a platform to let their collective voice be heard. NWYC’s team of experts provides unbiased, nonpartisan information and research on top issues and pending legislation relevant to small business owners today. NWYC presents both sides of the issue so that members can form an educated opinion and let their opinions be heard. 

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