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Black small business owners witness higher costs to operate


New survey from Goldman Sachs

At the conclusion of National Small Business Week, Black small business owners reported significant inflationary impacts on the costs of doing business. Compared to just three months ago, 70% say inflationary pressures have increased on them and 45% say they’ve had to raise the prices on their goods or services over that period. These are among the key takeaways from a national survey of small business owners from Goldman Sachs “10,000 Small Businesses Voices.”

According to the survey, Black small business owners say the rising costs of the following items are having a significant impact on their cost of doing business:

79% - Rising cost of labor

75% - Rising cost of accessing capital

74% - Increasing cost of commercial insurance 

0% - Rising cost of goods and inputs

64% - Increasing costs related to employee benefits and health insurance

57% - Increasing cost of rent 

Even in the wake of this persistent rise in the cost of doing business, 65% report their business is growing at or above pre-pandemic levels, and 33% believe the U.S. economy is “good” or “excellent,” while 44% describe it as “fair.”

“California’s small businesses are facing a crisis of affordability,” said Paul Austad, owner of Nela Athletics in Los Angeles. “We are resilient, but we have to work every day to deal with these challenges. Small businesses are looking to candidates and elected officials to champion the issues that will unleash the full power of small businesses for our economy.”  

The data shows Black small business owners are watching this year’s election closely. Ninety-six percent said they plan to vote in November. Notably, 19% of Black small business owners say they’re undecided on who they will support for President.

Black small business owners do not feel candidates for President are talking enough about small business issues. 48% say they’re dissatisfied with the way candidates have been addressing small business issues, with 38% saying they are satisfied. Small business owners do not believe the following issues are being sufficiently addressed by candidates: access to affordable capital (75% cited), inflationary pressures (73% cited), small business tax policy (69% cited), regulatory burden on small businesses (70% cited), and workforce training (62% cited). Eighty-three percent said a candidate's small business policy position is an important factor as they decide how to vote in the 2024 elections. 

The nationwide survey of 1,259 small business owners was taken April 15-20, 2024. Respondents came from 47 U.S. States, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.