White House touts 'small business boom,' but most owners still report struggling

Most owners said broader economic trends, including supply chain issues, inflation and labor challenges, are negatively impacting their businesses.

Published: January 25, 2022 10:22pm

Updated: January 25, 2022 11:16pm

The White House released a fact sheet on Tuesday touting the "New Small Business Boom Under the Biden-⁠Harris Administration," but more than two-thirds of small business owners are concerned that the federal government has not done enough to address hiring challenges, supply chain issues and inflation.

The fact sheet says "the Biden-Harris Administration has distributed more than $400 billion in critical relief to more than 6 million small businesses" to help them stay open throughout the COVID pandemic.

About 30% more Americans applied to start a small business in 2021 than before the pandemic, the White House says, but one year into lockdowns an estimated 200,000 extra businesses closed. The numbers are still being calculated for 2021.

Goldman Sachs on Monday released a survey showing that 82% of small business owners support additional emergency financial assistance from the federal government.

While 79% of survey respondents said they were concerned about the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 as the Omicron variant rages, 37% said "their business has been forced to temporarily close or scale back operations due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases," according to the Goldman Sachs poll.

An overwhelming majority of owners (86%) said that broader economic trends, including supply chain issues, inflation and labor challenges, are negatively impacting their small businesses.

The White House pointed out that "the share of small businesses planning to create new jobs in the next three months is higher than it ever was at any point during the [Trump] Administration."

The Goldman Sachs survey shows that 67% of small businesses are hiring new employees, but "97% of those hiring say difficulty with hiring is impacting their bottom line." This has increased from 80% of small businesses that reported having hiring issues in September 2021.

Inflation is an especially pressing issue for small businesses, 84% of which say inflationary pressure has increased since September.

President Biden hosted an event Monday to discuss his administration's efforts to combat inflation. When Fox News' Peter Doocy asked him about inflation, Biden called him a "stupid son of a bitch." The president later assured the reporter the epithet was "nothing personal."

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