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Survey shows Michigan small businesses challenged by inflation and supply shortages

A sign at a Sault St. Marie restaurant advertises open jobs.
Brett Dahlberg
Michigan Radio
A sign at a Sault St. Marie restaurant advertises open jobs.

Continually rising costs and supply shortages are the main challenges small businesses are facing according to a July survey.

The survey by the Small Business Association of Michigan found 91% are struggling with the rising costs of resources. It also found that 82% of owners say they are facing supply shortages.

Business owners are still optimistic, which is consistent with the association's 2021 survey findings.

Executive Director Brian Calley said that optimism is aimed at a long-term outlook that things will eventually work out. He said, "In the short term, there's a lot of struggle, a lot of frustration with the biggest challenges being those inflationary pressures, low workforce availability and supply chain disruptions."

He said this amounts to businesses feeling a pile-on effect.

Calley said his organization is working to find solutions. He mentioned a pilot program called MI Tri-Share, which aims to arrange childcare for workers. He said he also wants to see more emphasis and access to the Earned Income Tax Credit, which low-income earners can get along with paid wages.

They survey found that 70% of businesses have raised wages to attract new employees, and Calley said they're providing more flexibility with work hours and locations as well. He said Michigan's demographics have shifted and there’s no reason to believe staffing problems are going away any time soon.

Katheryne Friske is the weekend morning host and producer for All Things Considered.
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