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What's Keeping U.S. Small Business Leaders Up at Night (and Giving Them Hope, Too)

As U.S. small businesses worry about the economy, they also look to price, selection and convenience to help them drive long-term growth.

High inflation. Supply chain disruptions. An uncertain economic forecast. Numerous challenges currently keep small business decision-makers up at night and distract them from the joys of running and leading a small business. But despite these hurdles, I am continually inspired by the resilience of small businesses.

At Amazon Business, we’re committed to supporting small businesses and investing in education, grants, and tools to help small businesses overcome challenges, streamline purchasing, and free up time and resources to focus on what matters most: their mission and their customers.

Our recent poll of small business decision-makers found more than half (55%) of U.S. survey respondents currently feel more hopeful about the success of their business than they did at this time last year.

Alongside this hope, the poll illuminates the unique needs of small businesses as they navigate the macroeconomic landscape and how we can better support them to strengthen and grow their businesses long-term.


Small business leaders are passionate about growing their business—but financial concerns keep them up at night.

It is clear small business leaders are passionate about their work and growing their business. When asked what excites them most about their business over the next 12 months, 45% listed growing their business as the top choice.

However, the past few years have also presented their fair share of challenges. Overall, 92% of respondents are kept up at night by one or more of the business challenges we surveyed. Most prominent among them: financial concern.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents listed high inflation as the top challenge keeping them up at night, followed by 39% who cite an economic recession and 30% who point to supply chain disruptions 

Streamlined business buying plays an important role in business resilience now and in the future

In the midst of these external headwinds, small business leaders report they are prioritizing opportunities to save money and stay within budget. In the next 12 months, survey respondents report their purchasing priorities will focus on finding ways to save money (61%) and staying within budget (61%). While price will continue to be a key factor in reducing costs and driving growth, small business leaders are also looking at how easily they can find the products they need, alongside how convenient the purchasing process is in order to improve long term efficiency.

  • 91% say the ability to find items that are within their price range is a key factor in growing the business long term;
  • 88% say the ability to easily find the items they need for their business is a key factor in growing the business long term;
  • 90% say the ability to easily purchase the items we need for my business is a key factor in growing the business long term.

So, how can small business decision-makers get a better night’s rest?

Smart business buying—streamlining business procurement with digital purchasing solutions—helps small businesses stop spending so much time, money, and mental energy on buying and instead focus on their customers and growth.

With Amazon Business, small businesses can find the products they need to keep their business running—with the convenience of Amazon they’re used to. Here’s how Amazon Business can make the business buying experience more convenient and cost-effective by offering the products and prices small businesses are looking for:

  1. Value: Small businesses are prioritizing purchasing processes that benefit their bottom line. They can look to Amazon Business features like Business-Only Pricing, Quantity Discounts, and Subscribe and Save to help keep costs low while helping them find the products they need.
  2. Selection: Small businesses require a broad selection of products to find the right item within their budget. With Amazon Business, customers gain access to hundreds of millions of products worldwide—and we’ve made it easier to find products from the types of sellers that customers want to support, with filters to search selection from local sellers, women-owned, veteran-owned, Black-owned, and other small businesses.
  3. Convenience: The cost of a product is more than its price. Convenience also plays a role—and we know time is money for small businesses. With Amazon Business, small businesses can take advantage of the easy-to-use interface they’ve come to expect from Amazon while also getting tools and features that make buying more convenient, including Business Prime, Convenient Shipping Options, Multi-User Account, the Amazon Business Mobile App, Pay By Invoice, the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card, and much more.


Amazon Business is committed to the growth of small businesses and is invested in providing educational resources, grants, and Amazon Business tools to streamline buying. That’s why we were proud to host our free educational Small Business Summit and announce our Small Business Grants program, which gives eligible small businesses the chance to win more than $250,000 in business grants. Applications are due by May 21, and winners will be announced on July 17.

Whatever challenges are around the corner, Amazon Business is there to support and empower small businesses in their business buying journey.


Survey methodology

Amazon Business asked 500 small business decision-makers in the U.S. about their online purchasing patterns, the challenges and opportunities impacting purchasing processes, and the broader landscape for small businesses. All respondents are 18 years or older, work at a business making $25 million or less in annual revenue, are involved in their company’s supplies purchasing efforts, and are currently full-time (61%), part-time (7%), or self-employed (32%).

The poll was produced in partnership between Amazon Business and Walker Sands, with data collection conducted via online market research vendor, Rep Data, Inc., between March 20-27, 2023

Apply for a 2023 Amazon Business Small Business Grant by May 21st

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