A new survey shows that more than half of small businesses in Massachusetts are still struggling to recover from the pandemic.
MassINC Polling Group surveyed 3,243 small business leaders (of organizations with less than 500 employees) in the state.
Results released late last week revealed that 53% of respondents said their organization was making less money than before the pandemic.
Of these leaders, 23% said their companies were earning between 1% and 25% less, 19% said they were down 25% to 49%, and 11% said their source of income was less than 50% of what it was before. the pandemic.
At the other end of the spectrum, around a quarter of respondents said their sources of revenue had increased, with the majority of these companies saying they were earning between 1% and 25% more than before COVID hit. -19.
About a fifth of respondents said they were earning about the same amount of money as before the pandemic.
The poll also found that most small businesses were able to receive significant government relief funds during the pandemic. Nearly three-quarters said they received at least $50,000 in relief funds, and only 14% said they received nothing.
Additionally, most companies said they were meeting their debts. Only 18% of respondents were three months or more in arrears.
The survey asked business leaders about their concerns for the future. Most important was the increase in operating costs due to inflation, with 74% citing this as a major concern and only 5% saying it was not a problem.
Similarly, 61% said they feared wages would keep up with inflation.
Small businesses also said they are concerned about hiring, with 54% saying it is difficult to find qualified and reliable employees, and 46% citing hiring employees as a top concern.
Other problems caused by the pandemic are still plaguing local businesses. Supply chain issues were rated as a top issue by 40% of respondents, and 43% said fewer customers entering their business was a top concern.
Many respondents also said they had made significant changes to their businesses to deal with the pandemic. About a third said they eliminated products or services, a quarter said they started offering new products or services, and 22% said they were selling more online.
The majority of respondents also said they had made changes to deal with inflation, with 57% saying they had raised prices and 30% saying they were considering doing so.
Most companies have also increased employee salaries in response to inflation, with 54% saying they have already done so.
At the same time, small business owners seem to have a somewhat optimistic view. When asked to rate the conditions in their business from one to five, with one being very bad and five being very good, only 12% rated their conditions as two and only 4% as one.
Most rated their conditions at three or four, 35% and 30% giving those ratings, respectively. Almost a fifth of them rated the conditions as five.
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