More than 64 percent of small business owners polled say revenue is down as a result of increased gas prices and more than a quarter of those polled say they will have to lay off employees, according to a survey conducted on DollarDays.com.
DollarDays International, a subsidiary of American Suppliers, Inc. (AASL.PK) is a premier Internet-based product wholesaler to small businesses and local distributors. The poll was featured on www.DollarDays.com. The company frequently polls its customers about topical issues as it relates to small businesses.
According to the results, 64 percent says revenue has decreased as gas prices have increased and 58 percent say their customers are driving less which means fewer shopping excursions and they say they expect it to worsen with the upcoming summer months.
"Unfortunately, this is what we expected from this poll," says Marc Joseph, president and CEO of DollarDays. "With the recession and increasing fuel and food prices, being a successful small business owner is incredibly tough."
However, according to Joseph, as fuel prices increase so does online shopping. As a result, one of DollarDays' programs is helping their customers to create robust online stores to supplement their neighborhood stores.
"The Internet is a life line for small business," says Joseph. "Just because a small business has a website, it doesn't mean it has a shopping function or the right products. We offer our clients a one-stop-shop for opening an online store including the technology, products and consultants to help in both online and neighborhood stores. We want small business to succeed and if people aren't driving to them, it's imperative for small businesses to reach customers another way."
Joseph suggests that a recent report from Reis Inc., a real estate research company emphasizes the desperation small businesses face. According to the report strip malls and other neighborhood shopping centers, typically home to small businesses, have a higher vacancy rate when compared to malls. In fact, Reid predicts the vacancy rate is expected to top 11.1 percent later this year, up from 10.9 percent making it the highest level since 1990.
"Gas prices are expected to continue to rise and we're headed in to the summer and hurricane months where prices typically increase so it's no wonder there's not much optimism. It's a scary time."
Survey results include:
- Only 10 percent of small business owners are offering financial supplements to help their employees as a result of increased gas prices;
- 57 percent of small business owners expect a decrease in tourism over the next three months; while 26 percent don't expect a change and 15 percent expect an increase;
- 67 percent of small business owners have changed their personal travel plans as a result of higher gas prices.
Joseph says online stores are a great way for small businesses to expand sales beyond their neighborhood and at this point he says, "the only loss is in not trying."
About DollarDays International, Inc.
DollarDays International is a Web-based virtual warehouse, where small business owners and charities can find great deals on small business-sized orders for more than 260,000 consumer products, from toys and household décor to apparel, electronics and seasonal merchandise.
Due to its innovative business model, DollarDays prices are not only often far below those which most small business are accustomed to, but the offerings include many name-brand products as well as rock-bottom pricing on overstocked and closeout items.
DollarDays International helps its customers to select those items, both seasonal and everyday, which sell quickly to promote both a higher inventory turn and better margins.
In 2006, DollarDays made its debut at number 158 on Inc. Magazine 500 list of fastest growing private companies and recently was named one-of-50 second-stage Arizona “Companies to Watch” by the Arizona Small Business Association.
DollarDays’ prices are among the lowest available to small businesses.
Membership is free and any small business is eligible to shop at www.dollardays.com.