Massachusetts Small Business Owners say they are still struggling financially more than two years after the COVID-19 pandemic began, despite many receiving federal aid money.
Driving the news: More than half (53%) of small business owners said in a new survey that they are generating less revenue now than before the pandemic.
- Yes, but: A greater share of non-white business owners said financing and cost increases related to inflation were major concerns, according to the survey by the MassINC Polling Group, which surveyed 3,243 business owners in Massachusetts.
- Non-white entrepreneurs have also faced difficulties in obtaining relief funding for COVID-19. Findings indicate that black and Latino business owners were more likely to have received no, or smaller amounts, of COVID-19 funding compared to white and Asian business owners.
Why it matters: Small business owners also face a new set of concerns in 2022, including supply chain disruptions, hiring challenges and inflation-related increases.
MPG conducted a survey of business owners with fewer than 500 employees, and the vast majority reported having 100 employees or less. More than half of the respondents were white.
- 60% of respondents said funding was a major concern.
- When broken down by race, fewer whites (55%) considered funding a major concern compared to Latinos (88%), blacks (85%) and Asians (77%).
With the numbers: 74% of all small business owners said rising costs due to inflation were a major concern. Another 20% felt it was a minor concern and 5% said it was not a concern.
- 61% said keeping wages up with inflation was a major concern, while 26% said it was a minor concern and 11% said it was not a concern.
Between the lines: White business owners and owners of older businesses were more likely than non-white business owners to say they plan to sell their business or that a senior leader plans to retire in the next five years.
What they are saying: Steve Koczela, president of The MassINC Polling Group, said the survey illustrates that non-white business owners face major obstacles, but that “there is a possibility for a more diverse future for the community of small businesses than what exists today.”