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Inflation hits small businesses hardest, new Goldman Sachs survey reveals

More than half of the owners said they were overwhelmed by the increase in prices.

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Calling inflation "the Grinch that stole small business owners' Christmas profits," Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices released the results of its new Small Business Pulse Survey, which found that small business owners in the United States are being pressured this holiday season.

Despite the largest companies' revenue and sales reaching record levels, 52% of small business owners say their profitability has not met expectations, and 79% say they have increased prices in comparison with last year.

Janice Jucker, President and Co-Owner Three Brothers Bakery and member of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices National Leadership Council, noted:

Small businesses are the backbone of America. Yet, as we enter this holiday season, we are finding it harder than ever to succeed.

Key findings

“Despite rising prices and seeing decent demand, small businesses are still hurting in an increasingly difficult economy,” Goldman Sachs notes.

Among the results published by the survey, the following stand out:

  • 40% said demand is down compared to last year
  • 33% say it has stayed the same
  • 84% of respondents believe that larger retailers have a competitive advantage this holiday season due to their ability to better withstand inflationary pressures and offer lower prices
  • 27% report currently having excess inventory for current demand due to winter challenges

“Small business owners across America are doing more with less this holiday season. It’s critical that Washington meet their needs, and we are committed to ensuring that the voices of small business owners are heard at the highest levels of our government,” said Joe Wall, national director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices. 

About the survey

The survey, which was conducted between December 1 and 7, asked 331 small business owners in the retail/wholesale consumer products, retail/wholesale food and beverage, and hospitality/restaurant sectors to capture their opinions on this Christmas season.

“As our economy teeters on the brink of a recession, it’s more important than ever that Washington provide small businesses with the resources we need not just to get by, but to get ahead,” added Jucker.

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