Two Years Into The Pandemic, National Write Your Congressman Finds High Inflation and Supply Chain Issues Permeating Small Business, Disrupting Services and Growth
DALLAS – March 21, 2022 – National Write Your Congressman (NWYC), an organization that gives small businesses a voice in government, released its latest Quarterly Index which found 88 percent of business owners citing a disruption of services due to problems with the supply chain, and high inflation affecting 98 percent of business costs and pricing for products and services.
“The supply chain disruption has trickled down to small business in such a way that it is permeating every aspect of their business. The supply chain issue was focused on consumer goods lost on ships in December around the holidays, but it is much deeper than that now,” said Randy Ford, President, and COO of National Write Your Congressman. “Compounding on two years of operating a business in a pandemic, our members are now concerned that high inflation and supply chain issues will be here to stay for more than a year.”
Almost half of business owners surveyed said they foresee supply chain issues persisting for more than one year and 28 percent say they foresee supply chain issues easing in two to five years.
“I am a used car dealer and have a very busy service center. With half of the inventory of the norm at twice the price, we have needed to keep more cars on the road. This is hard due to lack of qualified mechanics, lack of availability of parts, and higher costs of everything. We find ourselves re-training our customers to endure longer waits and higher prices due to higher costs of goods sold and lack of staff,” Jeff Schneider, Owner, Pocahontas Sales & Service, in Pocahontas, Iowa.
Thirty percent of business owners surveyed said their business was currently growing when asked about the overall state of their business. Half of small business owners said their business has remained flat. Hiring qualified workers, followed by high inflation and uncertainty about the U.S. economy were the top three hindrances for business owners growing their business. Forty-four percent of business owners said they are still behind on all aspects and see challenges ahead when asked about business operations currently versus before the pandemic's beginning in March 2020.
“As a result of the pandemic people have been going away from the high cost of dealer repairs and are looking for a more affordable repair which smaller companies can supply. They like the personal relationship of the shop,” said Scott Laue, CEO, Expert Driveline Repair LLC in Menasha, Wisconsin.
Most businesses (90 percent) are returning to working in-person and nine percent are now offering a hybrid model of in-person and remote work. Although there are hindrances to growth, 83 percent do not think additional financial support from the federal government would help their business.
“I am not sure that any programs or services from the federal government will help our business. I feel we need a complete overhaul of regulations and make it easy for small businesses to succeed. It has become virtually impossible for a small business to keep up with and stay compliant with all of the regulations today. It is also impossible for these to all be enforced. Trucking is a vital part of the supply chain that has been under attack for too many years and now we all are starting to pay dearly for it,” Chad Scholma, President/General Manager, Hi-Tech Dairy Supply, Inc. in Allendale, Michigan.
Congressional sentiment grew slightly from last quarter. Fifty-eight percent of small business owners said they are confident their U.S. Congressional Members know their opinions on important issues, a percentage point increase from last quarter. Thirty-eight percent believe their own elected U.S. Congressional Members act according to their constituents' input. Thirty-eight percent of small business owners surveyed said they trust the elected U.S. Congressional Members who represent them.
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. More information can be found in the Q4 2021 Quarterly Index.
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 February 15 to February 22, 2022. A total of 934 respondents participated. Respondents represent 48 of the 50 states in the U.S. Fifty-seven percent of business owners surveyed employ 1-9 employees and 41 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.