ICYMI: Small Business Pain and Policy, Lessons from the Facebook Outage, and EX21 Preview

By at 8 October, 2021, 2:17 pm

In this week’s Growth Without Barriers podcast, SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan reviews the latest data and surveys that measure small business sentiment, operational conditions, and their current challenges.

In a conversation with host Gregg Stebben, Karen highlights the Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey, Alignable’s recent monthly poll and the IBD/TIPP Economic Index, which reports gloomier confidence among consumers.

As Karen noted during the discussion, only 18.6% of small businesses report a return to normal levels of operation. And, only 24% say the pandemic is having no effect on their businesses.

That means a sizable chunk of our small businesses sector (67%) is still being negatively impacted by the pandemic.

The findings of the Small Business Pulse Survey make it clear that small business owners are juggling an array of tough challenges – supply chain disruptions, weak revenue generation, higher costs paid for goods and services (inflation), and labor shortages.

So why would President Biden and his Democrat allies in Congress inflict additional pain and market turmoil through tax hikes and a massive spending scheme that will squeeze small businesses further by taking away the capital they need to withstand these formidable headwinds?

Karen says that SBE Council and their business allies are doubling down on efforts to educate the White House and Congress about these harsh realities facing small businesses and that policies need to support them, not drive them under or cause more pain.

Pivot Don’t Panic

Those were the lessons of COVID-19, and many small businesses appear to be applying that same strategy to this past week’s Facebook outage.

Karen and Gregg discuss the importance of small businesses taking ownership of their data, communications and sales channels, which means diversification and redundancy in operations.

As many small businesses have learned, Facebook is a great platform for reaching new customers, and communicating and marketing to those customers.  But all businesses have “bad days” – like Facebook – and small businesses need a plan for dealing with these type of occurrences in an increasingly interconnected, digitally-driven economy.

Just as small businesses have to deal with (and need a plan for) other disruptive events – such as those that are weather related, or if the Internet and their electricity goes down – it’s important that small business owners take control and develop a strategy that protects and enhances income streams, diversifies marketing, and takes ownership of customer lists and related information.

EX21 Preview

Intuit QuickBooks in partnership with Small Business Roundtable is hosting the first Entrepreneur Exchange 2021 (EX21) on October 17. This is a global event for policymakers, experts and small business entrepreneurs.

Karen provided an EX21 preview, and specifically the panel she is moderating titled: “Trendsetting in Entrepreneurship: How Digital Made the Difference.”

Panelists include Liz Barclay, U.K. Small Business Commissioner; Ramiro Cavazos, President and Chief Executive Officer of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Barbara Kotschwar, Executive Director, Visa Economic Empowerment Institute; and Kaitlyn Wilkins, Vice President, Global Small Business Sales, Facebook.

SBE Council members and supporters are invited. REGISTER TODAY!

What Conference Attendees Can Expect:

● Trends in small business digitization amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

● Role of government in enacting policy to support small business acceleration.

● Solutions to break down global barriers to entrepreneurship.

● Workshops about applying conference themes in day-to-day small business operations.

More information on EX21  here.


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