Inflation top voting issue for small businesses leading up to midterm

Small business groups across the US say inflation is their members’ top concern as they prepare to vote in Tuesday’s 2022 midterm elections as months of sky-high prices continue to take their toll.

The latest US Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index survey found that inflation was cited as their top concern, with 50% of respondents citing it as their top challenge.

Mittelstand for small businesses

Jason Coon loads inventory into the freezer at Warwick Ice Cream on October 27, 2022 in Warwick, Rhode Island. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/Getty Images)

The latest Small Business Economic Trends Survey, conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and due to be released on Tuesday, also found that inflation is the top issue worrying businesses, with 33% of owners saying that this is their main problem.

Staffing issues due to labor shortages were the second top challenge cited by small businesses in both surveys, and supply chain issues came in third.

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Beyond the polls, small businesses have also been working to make their voices heard by legislators ahead of the midterms. Last month, members of the US Chamber’s Small Business Council met with lawmakers and advisers on Capitol Hill to outline what they would like to see in the next Congress.

small business owner

Lynn Gooden, 44, updates inventory at her store, Mother’s Hair Beauty Supply, on August 16, 2022 in Houston, Texas. Small business groups say inflation is overwhelmingly the biggest challenge facing their members ahead of midterm elections. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images/Getty Images)

A spokesman for the chamber told FOX Business that along with the three big challenges — inflation, staffing issues and supply chain issues — the biggest challenge was concerns about onerous regulations.

“The problems on every small business’ mind are rising prices and a lack of qualified and willing applicants for job openings,” said Tom Sullivan, vice president for small business policy at the US Chamber. “Frustration at the government’s inability to address these challenges will surely be reflected on Election Day.”

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NFIB spokesman Jon Thompson said other issues small business owners are considering when voting include concerns about possible tax hikes, the recent expansion of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and high gas prices.

supply chain drink

Jordan Mackey, left, opens Nan’s Kitchen and Market August 4 in Southborough, Massachusetts. The top three concerns for small businesses are inflation, labor issues and supply chain issues. (Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images/Getty Images)

“With high inflation, looming tax increases, labor shortages, over-regulation and supply chain disruptions, small businesses face ongoing, significant challenges,” Thompson said in a statement to FOX Business.

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He added, “On this election day, small business owners and employees are full of energy and motivation to vote for candidates who will champion Main Street and enact small business policy.”

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