Hoosier small business owners remain concerned with inflation, supply chain disruptions

Small business owners in Indiana remain concerned about inflation but are becoming slightly more optimistic about business conditions, a National Federation of Independent Business survey has found.

About 32% of small business owners in the Hoosier State reported that inflation remains their top concern, down nearly five points from July’s reading, which was the highest since 1979.

The National Federation of Independent Business’s Small Business Optimism Index rose 0.6 points to 91.9 last month. However, the reading was below the 49-year average of 98 for the 11th straight month. Barring a tight labor market, many readings of the survey point to a recession or at least weakening economic conditions.

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“Indiana’s small business economy is recovering, but owners still face labor issues across the state. Many employers say finding the right people with the right skills is still a challenge as the new year approaches. is,” said Natalie Robinson, NFIB state director in Indiana. “This is especially troubling because small businesses are dealing with inflation that is affecting the cost of everything from raw materials to their monthly rent. “

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The survey found that 43% of business owners in Indiana expect better business conditions over the next six months, and 44% had job openings that were difficult to fill. Nearly 40% of business owners said they raised salaries recently, while 28% plan to do so in the next few months.

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The survey found that 51% of small business owners expect increased sales prices, and a net negative 8% expect retail sales to be higher.

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Nearly 55% of business owners have made a capital outlay in the past six months, up 1 percentage point from October. About 39% was spent on new equipment, 19% on vehicles and 12% on new or expanded facilities.

About 24% of plan capital outlays over the next few months, up one percentage point from October, found the Small Business Optimism Index.

A net negative 7% of small business reported higher sales in the past three months. According to the NFIB, a net negative 8% expect retail sales to improve, an increase of 5 percentage points but still a weak reading.

The survey found that nearly 29% of business owners said that supply chain disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic are still having a significant impact on their operations. About 34% report moderate effects and 26% mild effects.

Only 11% of small business owners said they experienced no recent impact from supply chain disruptions.

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