October 18, 2021

Indiana business owners still dealing with COVID disruptions

2 min read

As is the case across the country, small businesses throughout Indiana are dealing with staffing shortages and supply chain issues as the nation continues to crawl out of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, more than half — 54% — of business owners say supply chain disruptions are having a worse impact on their operations compared to three months ago, and almost half — 48% — say they are receiving fewer job applications compared to a month ago.

“This survey shows that small business owners in Indiana aren’t out of the woods yet,” Barbara Quandt, NFIB senior state director for Indiana, said in a statement. “The latest problem our small business owners are facing is supply chain disruptions. Add on the challenge job openings and trouble finding qualified workers to fill those positions, and it is clear that small business owners are still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Some 62% of business owners said they expect the currently supply chain disruptions to continue for more than six months.

As for staffing shortages, 19% of owners said it is causing “significant” lost sales opportunities. Another combined 62% said it is causing “moderate or mild” lost sales opportunities.

Two-thirds of owners also said their staffing shortage was the same as one month ago. Another 25% said it was worse and only 6% of owners said their staffing situation had improved.

In order to attract more job seekers, business owners said they have instituted steps outside of their normal hiring practices.

More than 60% said they have increased starting wages, while some 15% said they have offered or enhanced health benefits. Another 15% said they have offered or enhanced referral bonuses and 13% said they have begun offering hiring bonuses.

Owners have also had to adjust how they operate while being short-handed.

For example, 60% said they are offering more overtime to full-time employees and 41% said they are giving more hours to part-time employees.

Almost 80% of owners also report they are working more hours compared to before the pandemic. Another 30% say they have adjusted their hours of operation and 29% report introducing new technology to enhance productivity.

Moving forward, 15% of owners say they will be forced to close within a year if current economic conditions continue. Another 13$ said economic activity in their local community will not return to pre-crisis levels until 2023 or beyond.

This article was originally posted on Indiana business owners still dealing with COVID disruptions

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