Survey: Michigan Small Business Owners Optimistic for 2023

Today, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices released new survey data about the state of small business across the U.S., including in Michigan, that shows small businesses coming out of three years of pandemic crisis are planning to grow in 2023.
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Small business owner smiling while turning the sign for the reopening of the place after the quarantine due to covid-19. Happy businesswoman standing at her restaurant or coffee shop gate with open signboard. Close up of woman’s hands holding sign now we are open support local business.
Small business owners expect a strong 2023 despite labor and inflation headwinds. // Stock Photo

Today, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices released new survey data about the state of small business across the U.S., including in Michigan, that shows small businesses coming out of three years of pandemic crisis are planning to grow in 2023.

The survey found in 2023 that 88 percent of Michigan small business owners say they expect to create new jobs (51 percent) or maintain the same number of jobs (37 percent) this year, 60 percent expect their business to increase profits this year, and 12 percent of Michigan small businesses have laid off employees in the last three months.

“Like most of my fellow Michigan small business owners, I’m looking to the year ahead with both optimism and ambitious plans — including hiring for new positions,” says Sharon McRill, founder and owner of The Betty Brigade, an Ann Arbor-based relocation management and home organizing company.

“But as we emerge from the pandemic, we know that the economy remains unpredictable, and many are still facing the pressures of inflation and interest rates as we navigate our new normal.”

Contrary to reports that inflation has been easing its grip on the economy, 68 percent of Michigan small business owners say they have found that inflationary pressures have worsened in recent months, compared to 72 percent nationally.

“That’s why small business owners are urging Congress to prioritize our continuing needs by modernizing the Small Business Administration with updated tools and resources, and programs that reflect how we do business today,” McRill says.

When asked about the most significant problem facing small businesses, the most common response was difficulty finding and retaining qualified employees. For the 34 percent of Michigan small businesses and 35 percent of small business owners nationally who cited this as the primary challenge, the most significant reason was competition with larger employers on pay and benefits.

When asked about the current state of government programs designed to help small businesses, the surveyed owners were largely united in their assessments:

  • 70 percent nationally and 72 percent in Michigan give the federal government a C, D, or F grade for the effectiveness of the programs, services, and tax credits available to small businesses.
  • 85 percent nationally and 92 percent in Michigan give the federal government a C, D, or F grade for the job it does communicating about programs, services, and tax credits available to small businesses.

The results of our survey illuminate the very real economic challenges small business owners across the U.S. continue to face as they emerge from the pandemic crisis,” says Joe Wall, national director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices.

“Congress can help by joining in a bipartisan effort to reauthorize the Small Business Administration to modernize government programs that help these business owners navigate our new normal.”

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Businesses Voices is urging Congress to take bipartisan action to modernize the programs, services, and tax credits available to small businesses by reauthorizing the Small Business Administration for the first time in 23 years. Ninety-four percent of small business owners surveyed, both in Michigan and nationally, say it is important for congress to comprehensively modernize the SBA.

This data is based on a survey of 1,838 Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses participants conducted by Babson College and David Binder Research from Jan. 23-26 The survey included small business owners from 48 US states.