Research: Small Businesses Have Hard Time Retaining Employees

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the American small business economy confronting challenges, the House Small Business Committee this week held a hearing to discuss findings from new Goldman Sachs research examining the key barriers currently facing small business owners.

The research found that small business owners cite employee development and retention, limited access to financing as top barriers to growth. 

The hearing was held as more than 2,200 small business owners visited nearly 300 congressional offices to share their experiences and insights with policymakers to chart a path for growth during the two-day Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Summit: The Big Power of Small Business, the largest-ever gathering of small business owners hailing from all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Several New Orleans-area business owners were in attendance. 

The Global Markets Institute of Goldman Sachs gathered insights from more than 100 entrepreneurs and graduates of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program and formally surveyed over 1,000 additional small business owners. Notable findings from this research include: 

  • Nearly three-in-four (70 percent) small business owners say they have difficulty finding and retaining skilled employees.
  • Nearly 85 percent of owners report that they are solely responsible for ensuring their businesses comply with local, state and federal regulations.
  • More than half of business owners noted difficulty in learning about all the local, state and federal requirements that affect their businesses.
  • Seventy-five percent believe that doubling their financing would help them grow employment by roughly 30 percent over the next year.

“Our research illuminates the unique dynamics of small business ownership and the common challenges entrepreneurs face across a range of industries,” said Steven Strongin, Head of Global Information Research Division at Goldman Sachs and a Witness at yesterday’s hearing. “Based on our analysis, in order to invigorate small business growth, lawmakers should consider legislative initiatives that ease lending requirements for small business owners, reward the training small businesses provide their employees and create a central repository of local, state and federal regulations and a common certification standard for meeting requirements across these levels of government.”

J.R. Foster, Founder and CEO of Robert Louis Companies based in Cincinnati, Ohio, echoed these recommendations in his testimony during the hearing: “Far too often business owners are scraping funds together, using high interest cards or taking on private capital partners that ultimately put them in golden handcuffs. I ask that you consider helping a business like mine create a credit-friendly national lending platform and ecosystem so that business owners can have a centralized place to secure capital and where banks compete for their business.”

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