National Write Your Congressman Index Reveals Top Small Business Concerns and Dwindling Confidence in Government Trust, Satisfaction, Hope
November 14, 2023 – DALLAS – National Write Your Congressman (NWYC), an organization that gives small businesses a voice in government, released its Q3 2023 Index measuring Congressional and business sentiment.
The survey found business owners’ top five concerns to be hiring qualified workers, the U.S. debt ceiling and future government spending, keeping up with rising costs of employees’ pay/salary, taxes, and inflation. Seventy-six percent of business owners said their business was not growing or has remained flat. Small business owners' hope, satisfaction with government action, and trust in Members of Congress were at their lowest level since the end of 2021.
"With so much turmoil in Washington and around the world, business owners are concerned about the future of the U.S. economy and stability of their business," said Randy Ford, President and COO of National Write Your Congressman. “Business leaders are seeking to establish meaningful connections with their elected Members of Congress to enact change. The current climate underscores the importance of staying informed about what is happening both globally and locally to effectively use one’s voice to actively address concerns with elected officials."
Out of the 76 percent of businesses that are declining or remained flat, hindrances to growth are finding qualified workers (58 percent), uncertainty about the future of the U.S. economy (58 percent), high inflation on raw materials and equipment (50 percent), high-interest rates (47 percent) and supply chain issues/ability to access raw materials, equipment (35 percent).
Concerns about the U.S. economy increased by 14 percent, and concerns about high-interest rates increased by 27 percent.
Due to rising interest rates, 76 percent of business owners have increased the prices of their services or goods, 35 percent have said the cost of borrowing money has negatively affected their business, and 34 percent have yet to take investment opportunities for themselves personally or for their business.
"My second biggest concern is interest rates. I currently have floating-rate loans that have increased by thousands of dollars per month this year. If the Fed does not hold rates steady with a slight decrease in the near future, I don't believe businesses holding large amounts of debt will be in a competitive position given the substantial, simultaneous increases in labor and employee healthcare costs,” said Nick McMahon, President, McMahon Helicopter Services, Inc. in Canton, Michigan.
Sixty percent of small business owners believe the U.S. is in a recession, a small decrease from Q2 2023. Inflation affects 95 percent of businesses, and 83 percent of owners believe inflation problems will not ease for another two to five years.
Thirty-six percent of business owners surveyed said they trust the elected U.S. Congressional Members who represent them, an increase in trust from Q2 2023. Fifty-one percent of business owners said they are confident their U.S. Congressional Members know their opinions on important issues, but only thirty-four percent believe U.S. Congressional Members act according to their constituents' input.
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 October 16 through October 28, 2023. A total of 1,012 respondents participated. Respondents represent 45 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.