America’s small businesses are hurting. The Producer Price Index rose 11% from April of last year and the consumer price index is still running at a 40-year high.
Inflation is impacting American families, American workers, and American businesses. Whether it be for gasoline, food prices, or the worker shortage, the cost of doing business is much higher than before, and businesses pass the soaring costs to their customers.
And these soaring costs just aren’t letting up. 88% of sampled small businesses said that inflationary pressures on their small business have increased since the start of 2022, and 73% said that higher energy prices have negatively impacted their business.
To hear more about these rising prices and their effect on Main Street America, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) convened a group of lawmakers, including House Select Committee on the Economy Ranking Member Bryan Steil (WI-01), Rep. Randy Feenstra (IA-04), Rep. María Elvira Salazar (FL-27), and Rep. Michelle Steel (CA-48).
Joining the Members were Ed Westra, the General Manager of Hull Coop; Dwight Mashburn, the General Manager of Mashburn Transportation Services; and Suzy Batlle, the Owner of Azucar Ice Cream.
Here are the takeaways from their conversation, or you may watch the roundtable here.
Leader McCarthy: “We watched what the Biden administration did when they first came in and attacked the energy industry, what did they think the price of gasoline would get to? Every small business gets higher costs from regulation, higher costs of hiring someone to work, higher costs for goods and services, and gasoline compounding across this, that’s why this economy is hurting.”
Ranking Member Steil: “Small businesses are completely getting clobbered… the Biden administration kept [the labor participation rate] low by pumping in all sorts of unnecessary money into the economy, so now we’re in a situation where businesses are still looking for workers and we’re still trying to get workers back to work.”
Rep. Feenstra: “There’s a lot of fear right now in the breadbasket to the world. This is the start of where everything happens, the breadbasket to the world, where the producers are making corn, soybeans, cattle, hogs, and all of this stuff, and we’re seeing dramatic increases. Then they fear can they stay in business?… it’s all because the Biden administration fails to look at all these problems, continues to spend out of control, and doesn’t do anything with inflation.”
Rep. Salazar: “One in five small businesses in this country are created by a minority, so when the Biden administration imposes draconian laws and creates inflation, all it’s doing is killing the American dream.”
Rep. Steel: “In my district, I have about 23,000 small businesses. Half the workers in the district are hired by these small businesses. We were shutdown for over two years. It’s not just the Biden administration, inflation, and gas prices. In California, we really have to get rid of these liberal policies… you cannot even find the workers because government was just giving out free money without any plan.”
Ed Westra, General Manager of Hull Coop: “Looking at fertilizer prices for the farmer the past five years from 2016 to 2021, prices were very stable. It costs about $126 per acre to put on a normal [amount of] fertilizer to replace the nutrients that the crops take off. This Spring, it was $226 an acre — up $100 an acre — and we’re looking at projections of almost $300 an acre for 2023.”
Dwight Mashburn, General Manager of Mashburn Transportation Services: “All of these pressures coming from inflation, fuel, the supply chain, and labor. It really just goes back to energy like everybody is saying, we have the resources here locally to produce what the country needs, and to quit importing it from other countries. We’re not given the green light to do so, even though we’re the best at what we do.”
Suzy Batlle, Owner of Azucar Ice Cream: “In comes the inflation, in comes the Biden administration making moves that I cannot even understand. Unfortunately for everybody in small business we’re going to have to pay the price — whether we remain in business is another story.”