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Financial situations are improving for many New Hampshire small business owners, and they’re becoming more optimistic but not overwhelmingly confident, about their prospects for the future, according to the NH Small Business Development Center’s third and final Business Resiliency Survey.

According to the survey, which was launched as a three-part project in June 2020 at the depths of the pandemicfueled economic collapse, Granite State business owners are more confident about their financial outlook, although they still have nagging concerns. For instance, in June 2020, more than four in five respondents reported their monthly revenue had decreased as a result of the pandemic. In the most recent survey, conducted from Sept. 15 to Oct. 11, 2021, just over half reported that their revenue had been negatively affected. However, nearly one in five said their revenue has increased. But, in an effort to control costs, one-quarter reported that their owners were working without a salary.

Liz Gray, state director, NH Small Business Development Center

When asked how they expect New Hampshire businesses will do in the upcoming year, 33 percent of respondents said the state’s businesses will enjoy good times financially, 10 percent said they think they will experience bad times, and 56 percent anticipated mixed conditions.

Supply chain issues have risen to the top of major concerns, according to the survey, with two-thirds of respondents reporting being affected a lot or some by related problems in 2021. More than half said they have been affected by increased costs of goods and delays in sourcing from domestic suppliers, while four in 10 said they’ve been affected by higher domestic shipping costs.

Besides the supply chain, another significant concern remains recruitment and retention of workforce. Nearly half of respondents said they currently have the same number of employees as they did in February 2020, while three in eight reported having fewer. The businesses are managing staffing recruitment and retention challenges by reducing open hours, allowing remote work, increasing efficiency or automation, or by offering increased compensation and one-time bonuses, according to the survey.

“The survey results presented incredibly valuable insights into the challenges businesses faced throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and the data aided us in determining the best ways to help businesses,” said Liz Gray, executive director of the NH SBDC.

To see abridged results of the survey, visit To request a full report, email


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