Nov. 2, 2023
Over three quarters (76%) of small business owners believe that their company is equipped to handle any upcoming economic instability, according to a new survey conducted by OnePoll and Melio – a leading B2B payments-as-a-service platform for small businesses.
With interest rates at a 22-year high, the survey finds that increased interest rates (61%), inflation (59%), and a looming recession (44%) remain top concerns for small business owners. However, despite the economic headwinds of the past year, 72% of small business owners feel more optimistic now about the financial prospects of their company than they did in January 2023.
“Despite the challenges posed by inflation and interest rates, small business owners seem to adapt to the current economic climate and demonstrate impressive agility and resilience” said Tomer Barel, Melio’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “Small businesses are the foundation of the economy, and it is critical that they have the tools to overcome future challenges.”
In a year marked by high inflation, 62% of small business owners report having made tough decisions about their business. For example, 61% tapped into their savings accounts or took out a loan, 50% adjusted their prices, and 45% reduced the production of various goods and services. Additionally, nearly half (48%) of respondents raised their prices an average of 7% over the last six months – yet among those that raised prices, the majority of small business owners reported increases in repeat business (66%), sales (63%), and number of new clients (56%).
Small businesses are also continuing to embrace digitization. More than half (58%) of respondents reported increasing their digital presence in the last year, and three-quarters of small business owners believe that accepting forms of payments beyond cash is more important than it used to be. Moreover, the majority (53%) of small business owners are interested in digitizing or further digitizing their bookkeeping and payments.
“It’s tough to keep a small business in business – SMBs are dealing with material cost increases across multiple areas such as input prices, salaries, rent, and capital costs,” said Prashant Gandhi, Melio’s CBO. “The silver lining is that 1 in 4 (25.80%) businesses are leaning heavily into digitizing their business. The team at Melio remains steadfast on the core tenets of our mission: giving SMBs choice, workflow automation, and insights in the platform of their choice.”
Fielded in mid-September, the survey polled 1,000 small business owners about their financial wellbeing, how they are coping with inflation and interest rates, and how they are adapting in the face of economic headwinds.