National Write Your Congressman Finds Small Business Owners Planning to Grow Their Business In 2021, Investment In Technology Critical To Success
DALLAS – May 19, 2021 – National Write Your Congressman (NWYC), an organization that gives small businesses a voice in American government, released its Q1 2021 Quarterly Index which found 38 percent of business owners plan to grow their business this year, a 100 percent increase since last quarter.
Business owners also gained more confidence in the future, with only 23 percent of business owners citing uncertainty compared with 35 percent uncertainty in Q4 2020.
“Our small business owner members have been resilient, adapted and thrived in a year of unforeseen changes,” said Randy Ford, President and COO of National Write Your Congressman. “Small business owners are not only more hopeful, but their satisfaction and trust in their elected officials is growing as local economies are beginning to open and businesses are able to work at full capacity.”
NWYC’s Quarterly Index Score increased with an overall increase in hope, satisfaction, and trust in Congress. Members’ trust, hope and satisfaction with their local government was highest compared to their satisfaction, hope and trust in state and national government.
Fifty-seven percent of small business owners said they believe their U.S. Congressional Members know their opinions on important issues, a 21 percent increase from last quarter. Thirty-eight percent believe their own elected U.S. Congressional Members act according to their constituents' input, a 31 percent increase from last quarter. Thirty-nine percent of small business owners surveyed said they trust the elected U.S. Congressional Members who represent them, a 25 percent increase from last quarter.
This quarter, business owners’ top concern was hiring qualified workers (31 percent), followed by taxes (29 percent), regulations (12 percent) and COVID-19’s effect on their business (nine percent). In Q4 2020, business owners cited taxes (30 percent), COVID-19’s effect on their business (22 percent), business regulations (20 percent) and hiring qualified workers (14 percent) as their top concerns for the first quarter.
Small Business Investment in Technology
Over the past year, about 40 percent of small business owners surveyed either created or updated their current website, almost half utilized video conferencing, 30 percent added online ordering, drive-thru service or pick up services, and 26 percent became more active on their business’ social media pages to accommodate state orders of sheltering in place and closing of non-essential business storefronts.
“As a small non-profit community resource, we have done what we can to adapt and find some silver-linings. There are no more walk-ins or a crowded shop, but our members were able to start reserving their time in the makerspace starting last summer with an online scheduling software,” said Jeff Bianchine, Managing Director for Print Shop Inc.
“While this limited use of the shop to one-at-a-time, it did allow creativity and production to start happening again, and artists, boutique manufacturers, small businesses and local cultural and social justice organizations have been able to prosper due in part to the shop's ability to use technology to adapt and remain open,” said Bianchine.
“Our business suffered, and revenues were impacted significantly in 2020 due to reduced customer demand associated with COVID. However, we took the opportunity to invest in new equipment and technology that enabled us in late 2020 and into Q1 of 2021 to expand into new markets and create a new customer base,” said Angela Holt, President of Rathburn Tool and Manufacturing.
“Small businesses across the country have had to rely on digital tools to get them through this year. They have seen that although an investment, new digital technologies have allowed them to thrive and make a positive impact on their community,” said Ford.
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.
National Write Your Congressman is dedicated to the delivery of constituent information to members of Congress. It releases a Quarterly Index Score, which considers six factors measuring small business owners’ trust, hope and satisfaction towards Congress and government. Past NWYC Indexes can be found here.
NWYC collected data using an online survey administered April 29 to May 4, 2021. A total of 1,161 respondents participated. Respondents represent 48 of the 50 states in the U.S. Fifty-six percent of business owners surveyed employ 1-9 employees and 41 percent employ 10-99 employees. The predominant industries represented are construction, services, automotive repair, health, legal, accounting, engineering, advertising, education, manufacturing, agriculture, and retail trade.
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.