Small Businesses Adapt to Inflation: Credit Card Usage on the Rise

The Small Business Index by Intuit Quickbooks revealed that small businesses in the U.S. are increasingly turning to credit cards as a vital source of funding amidst persistently high inflation and rising borrowing costs. Unlike larger firms, a significant portion of small businesses, roughly 30%, have relied on credit cards as their primary or secondary source of financing over the past year, while another 22% have turned to loans or lines of credit. Credit card usage among small business owners began surging in 2021 when inflation started to rise and has continued to climb steadily, with monthly credit card spending now averaging 20% higher than pre-pandemic levels. The ongoing rise in inflation and interest rates, including the Federal Reserve’s 11 rate increases, has created unique challenges for small businesses, making credit cards a more appealing financial resource amid tightening credit conditions. These challenges are further exacerbated by the burden of rising costs and the scarcity of affordable financing options. Small businesses are grappling with the impact of both high inflation, with 45% identifying it as their most significant challenge, and the consequences of tighter monetary policies, which are making loans scarcer and costlier.

Source: Yahoo Finance


SBA Grants Historic SBLC Licenses to Boost Small Business Access

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has granted three new licenses for Small Business Lending Companies (SBLC), marking a significant expansion in efforts to enhance financial access for small businesses in historically underserved areas. This move represents the first significant expansion of the SBLC program in over 40 years and reflects the SBA’s commitment to promoting equity and inclusive economic growth. The newly licensed entities, Arkansas Capital Corporation, Alaska Growth Capital BIDCO, Inc., and Funding Circle, are dedicated to extending economic opportunities in underserved communities, including Native, rural, and low-income areas. This expansion aims to strengthen the SBA’s lender network, streamline credit criteria, and reduce bureaucracy, offering a promising path to greater financial inclusivity and growth for small businesses across the nation.

Source: Small Business Trends


Survey Shows 77% of US Employees View Four-Day Workweek Positively

A recent Gallup survey, conducted in partnership with Bentley University, reveals that 77% of employed US workers view a four-day, 40-hour workweek positively, with 46% considering it “extremely positive,” and 31% indicating it’s “somewhat positive” for their well-being at work. While the four-day workweek received high marks, other well-being options also ranked favorably, such as employers offering a set number of paid mental health days (74%) and limiting the amount of work expected beyond the regular workday (73%). Respondents also expressed a desire for employers to limit after-hours email work (66%) and provide free mental health counseling sessions (65%) and mental health screenings (61%). However, it’s worth noting that the success of a four-day workweek may depend on factors like individual work style, job type, and how the four days are scheduled, as cramming work into fewer days might lead to burnout for some employees.

Source: CNN