Top Challenges for Small Business Owners

4 Small Business Owners Share Top Challenges They’re Facing Today

By U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation | Originally published September 20, 2022

Small businesses are the backbone of America’s economy. They account for nearly half of private sector employment and contribute more than 40% to the U.S. gross domestic product. Record inflationworker shortages, and extreme weather events have presented continual challenges as businesses recover following the pandemic.

A recent survey released by the National Federation of Independent Business found that about half of small business owners still can’t fill open jobs, a near-record high in the survey’s roughly five-decade history. On top of this, research conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife showed that one in three small business owners now rank inflation as their highest concern.

The Coalition to Back Black Businesses (CBBB) – a multi-year initiative founded in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, American Express, and four leading national Black business organizations – helps provide opportunities for success. Since the initiative’s launch, the CBBB has distributed $5,000 grants to more than 1,000 Black small business owners across the country and continues to offer resources to help business owners thrive.

We connected with four CBBB grantees to hear some specific challenges their businesses face in this current climate. What follows has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Che Raquel Ward, Owner, Hurt and Healing Behavioral Health and Wellness (Havelock, NC)

“As a healing professional, it feels like our business has undergone some healing because of the CBBB initiative! When my business began, my challenges paralleled those of the clients I hoped to heal. I was unaware of the resources available, how to attain them, the areas in which I could use additional support, and had been dismayed by institutional barriers; real and perceived. Much like my struggle, many minority families hold a stigma against mental health and are unaware of the diversity of resources available to them.

Currently, our biggest obstacles include credentialing, financial management, and expansion. Becoming credentialed with larger insurance providers is arduous for a sole provider and increases as a private group practice. We now meet the criteria for group credentialing but must hire a credentialing specialist to handle the time-consuming tasks and paperwork associated with it. Additionally, we are looking to add a billing specialist and accountant to address the increasing needs of joining these insurance panels. The accountant will also serve the purpose of helping us to identify gaps and locate funding and tax breaks to keep us growing. Finally, we are seeking funding to add additional therapists and increase community outreach methods so that we can further our reach to those underserved in our community and throughout the state.”

Bronwyn Morgan, Owner, Xeo Air (East St. Louis, IL)

“As a tech entrepreneur, I’ve been watching the economy very closely, as inflation has impacted financial planning in categories such as gas, compensation, and marketing costs, which affect the bottom line. I am encouraged by the Inflation Act and the decrease in oil prices, which I hope will hold. Another big issue we’re facing is access to components for the equipment we need, so the CHIP Act overtime will help solve these issues, as well as new local advanced manufacturing sites. If we can keep costs reasonable, then we can see a light at the end of the tunnel. This, however, may take a while. In the meantime, we must be very strategic in our planning.

In addition, finding good talent is always a challenge, but now more so than ever. Thankfully, we’re in an industry that attracts a great deal of interest and potential hires. We must work hard to train the staff we need to be superior in execution. Now more than ever…[MORE]


To read the entire article at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation website , visit: 4 Small Business Owners Share Top Challenges They’re Facing Today