SBDC's 2022 New Hampshire Small Business Survey was conducted by the UNH Survey Center from September 7th to September 28th. Overall, 829 participants from 157 towns and cities completed the survey.
SBDC and other NH economic development partners are listening, learning and better able to respond to the business community’s needs with the information we have gained from this survey. We explored how businesses have built resiliency and where they may still need our help, and what factors are currently affecting businesses.
Prior to the New Hampshire Small Business Survey, NH SBDC, in partnership with the UNH Survey Center, conducted the NH SBDC Business Resiliency Surveys during 2020 and 2021 to discover current and lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Granite State's small businesses. Hearing from business owners helped SBDC and other economic development organizations to better understand challenges and needs going forward. By leveraging the results of the surveys, we can more effectively assist small businesses. We were able to reach more than 4,500 businesses through the three surveys.
The New Hampshire Small Business Survey was made possible with funds from the CARES Act.
Respondents indicate that their businesses employ very slightly more people currently than they did a year ago. Four in ten expect their staffing needs to increase in the next year, particularly large businesses and those in the manufacturing industry.
Very few expect their staffing needs to decrease. Most say that they struggled a lot or some to hire employees in the past six months, and many who did struggle say that they tried to help their hiring by offering increased compensation or flexible hours.
The vast majority of respondents believe that their employees are satisfied with their work schedule, their compensation, and their benefits. Most respondents say that their business offers paid vacations to full-time employees, but less than half provided other benefits such as medical insurance or paid sick leave. Nearly half of respondents say that their business has at least some of their employees working remotely at least one day a week on average.
Most respondents think that their employees find it difficult to access affordable housing and many believe their employees struggle to access childcare.
More than three-quarters of respondents say that they are very or somewhat concerned about their business being able to find new employees and pay their current employees competitive wages. Majorities are also concerned about being able to retain their current employees and offer competitive benefits. To help with retaining employees, about four in ten say their business increased compensation and three in ten offered flexible hours to their employees.
Supply Chain Issues
Nearly three-quarters of respondents say their business has been affected a lot or some by supply chain issues in 2022, particularly accommodation and food services, manufacturing, and retail trade businesses. A majority have experienced increased costs of goods and delays in sourcing from domestic suppliers.
Just under half of respondents say that their business has a resiliency or continuity plan. Among those who do, a majority say they created their plan in the past three years. Larger businesses tend to be more likely to have a plan at all and for their plans to have a greater number of components.
Business's Financial Health
Just over a third of respondents say their business is better off than a year ago while one-fifth say they are worse off. Respondents are slightly more optimistic when projecting into the future, as four in ten expect their business will be better off in a year and only one-tenth expect to be worse off.
The vast majority of respondents are very or somewhat concerned about the effect of inflation and energy costs on their business, while more than two-thirds are also worried about maintaining sales/revenue, supply chain disruptions, and maintaining customers.
Those under the age of forty and those whose businesses are in the health care and social assistance or the manufacturing industries are particularly optimistic about their business's outlook.
State Business Environment
Respondents are about evenly divided in their expectations for the business environment in the state over the next twelve months, with a majority expecting some good and some bad conditions.
When asked what they consider to be the most important problem facing the business community in New Hampshire, respondents most frequently mention the labor shortage or labor costs, inflation, or housing availability or costs. When asked for one positive thing about the New Hampshire business environment, respondents most frequently mention a lack of sales or income tax, a supportive business community, an overall good business environment, the quality of life, low taxes overall, and a plethora of resources for businesses.
The downloadable abridged pdf report is available here:
If you would like a link to the full report, please email email@example.com with your request.
Thank you to SBDC's Survey Partners
- U.S. Small Business Administration - NH District Office
- NH Department of Business & Economic Affairs
- UNH Peter T. Paul College of Business & Economics
- NH Regional Development Corporation Alliance
- Center for Women & Enterprise
- UNH CAPS
- UNH CEO & Family Enterprise Center
- UNH Cooperative Extension
- UNH Innovation
- Arts Alive
- Belknap EDC
- Business Alliance for People of Color - BAPOC
- Center for Business Anayltics
- Center for Women and Enterprise
- Chambers of Commerce
- City of Rochester
- City of Somersworth
- Coös Economic Development Corporation
- Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses
- Granite Outdoor Alliance
- Hannah Grimes Center
- InTown Concord
- League of NH Craftsmen
- Manchester Economic Development Office
- Nashua Regional Planning Commission
- NH Business & Industry Association
- NH Community Loan Fund
- NH Grocers Association
- NH Lodging & Restaurant Association
- NH Made
- NH Retail Association
- NH State Council on the Arts
- NH Tech Alliance
- Senator Hassan's Office
- Senator Shaheen's Office
- State Early Learning Alliance
- Town of Derry, Economic Development
- Upper Valley Business Alliance
- Upper Valley Lake Sunapee RPC
- Wentworth Economic Development Corp., Inc
- Central New Hampshire Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Claremont Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce
- Durham Business Association
- Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce
- The Falls Chamber of Commerce
- Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce
- Hooksett Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Hudson Chamber of Commerce
- Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce
- Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce
- Mt. Washington Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
- Meredith Area Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce
- Northern Gateway Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce
- Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth
- Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce
- Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce
- Western White Mountains Chamber of Commerce
- Wolfeboro Area Chamber of Commerce