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SBAM | Small Business Survey:

Michigan Business Network
May 2, 2024 11:00 AM

sbam-2Availability of labor, inflationary pressures, and potential unemployment insurance expansion could signal trouble ahead

Lansing, MI - Ask Michigan small business owners what is keeping them up at night, and you’re likely to get some variation of the same response - trying to find qualified people to hire. This talent shortage, along with continually fighting inflation and worrying about costly expansions in the unemployment insurance system, were the top issues identified in the Small Business Association of Michigan’s spring member survey.

Ninety percent of SBAM members surveyed in April said they are experiencing higher cost increases, as compared with previous years.

“SBAM’s membership has enjoyed a relatively stable economy in the past several years and been able to staff up and plan ahead for a rainy day,” said Brian Calley, President and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan. “The results of our latest survey show that rainy day could be coming sooner rather than later, as inflationary pressures and a lack of available labor continue to impair small business owners.” 

“By a margin of three to one, small business owners are against the proposed expansion of the unemployment insurance system. It’s certainly an odd time to consider increasing Michigan’s unemployment benefits, when our state’s unemployment rate remains at record lows.” 

Respondents to the spring survey opposed, by three to one, legislative efforts to expand Michigan’s unemployment benefits from a maximum of 20 weeks per year to 26 weeks per year and increase the cash benefit from a maximum of $362 per week to $602 per week, with an automatic annual increase.

Along the same percentile, 62 percent of respondents said they are having a hard time finding talent and keeping their business fully staffed. Sixty-six percent said they’ve offered increased wages to attract and retain employees.

In addition to these topics, many small business owners are unaware of the administrative mandates placed on them by the Corporate Transparency Act, which requires compliance by Dec. 31, 2024. 

“It’s alarming that two-thirds of the small business owners we surveyed have little to no understanding of the requirements placed on them by the CTA, just further proof that Congress needs to revoke it immediately,” Calley said. “The federal government has not kept small business owners aware of the onerous mandates placed on them by this act, and yet noncompliance could create thousands of new accidental felons with federal prison time as a sentence.” 

The survey of small business owners, administered in April of 2024, was completed by over 450 SBAM members.


The Small Business Association of Michigan focuses solely on serving the needs of Michigan’s small business community through advocacy, collaboration and buying power. Today they serve over 32,000 members in all 83 counties of Michigan. SBAM is located in Lansing, just one block from the Capitol.

Images courtesy of SBAM

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Michigan Business Network is an online broadcasting company that provides knowledge, news, and insights into Michigan’s businesses, industries, and economy.