According to a recent poll of 468 small businesses conducted by American Management Services/Suffolk University, many small businesses continue to face significant challenges in their day-to-day operations. Yet, an overwhelming number do not seek assistance from federal agencies.
When asked, have you worked with any federal agencies to receive assistance, 93% said “no,” while only 7% indicated “yes.”
“This poll tells us that most small business owners are in the dark when it comes to knowing which agencies can help their business and what they can offer,” said George Cloutier, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Management Services. “The irony is that the owners who had received federal assistance were quite pleased with the results.”
While there is a strong disconnect with federal agencies, it is contrasted by a strong connection to local government. When asked, which of the following elected officials/branches do you think is the most creative and innovative in helping small businesses, 29% said Mayors/Local Officials, followed by State Legislatures (20%), President/Executive Branch (13%), Governors (10%), and Congress (4%).
“Small business owners see Mayors and other local officials as their biggest ally. Because of this, they are the key link to helping small businesses reach their true potential,” said Cloutier.
The American Management Services/Suffolk University poll also showed that one of the biggest challenges to current profitability is labor issues. When asked, âwhat is the most significant challenge to your businesses profitability?â? 28% said health care costs/employee benefits, 24% indicated finding and retaining qualified employees, and 6% said high employee wages. This combined 58% easily outdistanced low sales volume (11%), taxes (10%), and high raw material costs (9%).
For a copy of the in-depth 116 page report, go to the Suffolk University website, www.suffolk.edu.