- Levels of optimism among small business owners in Florida are rising, according to The National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Optimism Index.
- The measure increased by 1.6 points in June to 91.0, marking a continued forward momentum in the business environment for Florida’s small businesses.
- Despite a healthy business outlook, operators report fears related to lingering inflationary rises in expenditures.
The National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Optimism Index increased 1.6 points in June to 91.0, marking a continued forward momentum in the business environment for Florida’s small businesses.
Through the survey of business owners, inflation and labor quality were tied as the top small business concerns, with 24 percent of owners reporting each as their single most significant problem. The net percent of owners raising average selling prices also decreased three points to a net 29 percent seasonally adjusted.
Though small business owners in Florida largely expect better business conditions over the next six months, persistent inflation-related rises in expenditures continue to present operational challenges. Price hikes were most frequent in retail (52 percent higher), construction (49 percent higher), finance (48 percent higher), and wholesale (47 percent higher).
Additionally, fourteen percent of owners recently reported that supply chain disruptions still have a significant impact on their business.
“Inflation and labor shortages continue to be great challenges for small businesses,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Owners are still raising selling prices at an inflationary level to try to pass on higher inventory, labor, and energy costs.”
Small businesses are a significant contributor to Florida’s economy, representing 99.8 percent of all businesses in the state, according to the Florida Small Business Association. These small businesses are responsible for providing employment opportunities to a significant portion of the state’s workforce, with 41.1 percent of Florida employees working for small businesses.
Despite prevailing economic pressures, Florida was named the best state to start a small business by Credit On Tap earlier this year, with the lender pointing to the state’s 5.5 percent corporate tax rate and abundance of jobs created through startup companies.
Moreover, Florida received $488.4 million from the U.S. Treasury under the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). Through the SSBCI funding, the state will operate five programs: a collateral support program, a loan participation program, a loan guarantee program, an equity/venture capital program, and a capital access program.
The Treasury disclosed that Florida allocated $250 million to the collateral support program, which works to provide cash collateral accounts to financial institutions in order to enhance the collateral coverage of borrowers. The state further allocated $100 million to the Florida Venture Capital Program, which makes equity co-investments in emerging Florida companies.
The program was modeled on a state-sponsored Small Business Administration 504 bridge loan program, which has operated since 2017.