Cherry Hill, NJ – June 20, 2023 – Inflation was identified as one of the top business concerns impacting small businesses, according to the results of the 2023 Small Business Survey, released today by TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®. The survey collected insights from over 500 small business owners (SBOs), with between $250,000 and $5 million in annual revenue, on the challenges, priorities, and trends heading into the second half of 2023.
In addition to 62% of business owners naming inflation as one of their primary business concerns, other top areas of concern were:
- Employee retention and management (24%)
- Product shortages (21%)
- Keeping up with the competition (20%)
“In response to rising interest rates and inflation driving up the cost of doing business, small business owners have had to increase spending to stay competitive," said Chris Giamo, Head of Commercial Banking at TD Bank. "That, coupled with consumers rethinking spending habits, means that inflation is making it harder for businesses on multiple fronts to increase profits and revenue. As a bank, we have seen firsthand the important role financial institutions play in helping business owners access the capital they need to safeguard their business and maintain the loyalty of their customers in challenging times.”
A Hopeful Future
Even with the volatile macroeconomic environment, tight labor market, and the threat of a recession impacting various aspects of their business—from talent to product shortages and more—SBOs continue to have faith in their businesses’ success. In fact, the majority (80%) reported feeling optimistic about their business performing well in the year ahead, while 20% reported concern about their small businesses’ survival.
The data from the survey highlights that resilience remains a necessary characteristic of SBOs as they continue to face uncertainty and adapt their business models to provide the best service and products for consumers.
“As a business owner, one of the most important relationships you can develop is with your bank," shares Amy Dinkar-Patel, Head of Small Business & Commercial Distribution at TD Bank. "Banks serve in the same community where business owners live and work. This allows them to channel their local expertise into helping SBOs create a successful business strategy that prioritizes growth and stability. With small businesses striving to thrive in the year ahead, having a trusted banking partner at the table will be crucial."
Small Business Priorities
To actualize a positive business performance for the remainder of 2023, SBOs are setting their sights on reinforcing the financial strength of their business, beating out the competition, and tackling talent retention.
In addition to navigating the daily challenges of running a business, SBOs believe prioritizing the following areas will be key to achieving long-term business goals amid challenging economic conditions.
Strive to Survive: Neary one in five (17%) SBOs identified surviving as a business as their top priority for the second half of 2023. For 35% of SBOs, this means applying for a loan or line of credit this year to make crucial investments in their business that will set them apart from the competition.
Eyes on the Prize: Although one in five (20%) SBOs reported concern with keeping up with the competition, less than 1 in 10 (9%) are prioritizing competing with other businesses. In fact, most SBOs are focused on running their own race, with 35% choosing to prioritize attracting and retaining their customers rather than focusing on competitors.
Retaining Talent: When it comes to employees, the majority of SBOs (70%) are prioritizing retaining their staff, with only 4% of SBOs selecting cutting employees as a priority, despite economic concerns. Reassuringly, over one in four (26%) SBOs are prioritizing hiring more employees.
This report presents the findings of a CARAVAN® survey conducted by Big Village among a sample of 503 small business owners and partners. The survey was live on April 19-27, 2023.
Small business owners are defined as respondents having less than 100 employees with a recent fiscal year revenue between $250,000 and $5 million.
About Big Village
Big Village is a global advertising, technology, and data company. Driven by our diverse group of experts, we provide a new way of working by bringing programmatic solutions, media, insights, and creative all under one roof. Big Village is headquartered in New York and has 12 offices across North America, Europe, and Australia.
About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing over 9.8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at more than 1,100 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Auto Finance, a division of TD Bank, N.A., offers vehicle financing and dealer commercial services. TD Bank and its subsidiaries also offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.td.com/us. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US and www.twitter.com/TDNews_US.
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD". To learn more, visit www.td.com/us.