A newly released national survey of 500 small business owners found they have a generally depressed economic outlook, particularly with the prospect of COVID-19 vaccine mandates negatively impacting their businesses.
The survey by the Job Creators Network was conducted in December by Scott Rasmussen and John McLaughlin.
The survey shows inflation remains the single-largest concern to small business owners, followed by the economy, COVID-19, operating costs, the supply chain and Biden administration imposed taxes.
On the whole, small business owners do not think the current administration has done enough to fight inflation and disruptions to the supply chain.
"Even during the holiday season, small business owners are not feeling optimistic," said McLaughlin, indicating that the results of the survey signal a worrying economic slump across the U.S. economy.
Eighty-two percent of small business owners said they were concerned about "Covid cases causing government mandates impacting businesses," which include the potential for future lockdowns and mandating that employees be vaccinated.
Fifty-two percent of small business owners said they oppose requiring vaccination and proof of vaccination for their employees.
Notably, minority and female-owned businesses uniformly responded in the highest numbers that vaccine mandates would make it difficult for them to find and retain employees.
For minority-owned businesses, 72% of owners say a vaccine mandate will "make it harder to find employees." Sixty-eight percent of female-owned businesses said the same.
Despite the anticipated hardships that would come with a small business vaccine mandate, 51% of those surveyed said they would not pass the costs of such a mandate on to employees while 27% said they would.