Energy and fuel expenses affect small businesses

According to a nationwide poll of U.S. small-business owners and managers by the International Profit Associates Small Business Research Board (IPA SBRB), rising energy and fuel costs currently are the greatest issues affecting small businesses. The increasing cost of materials is cited as the second most significant issue.

The poll is part of a study being conducted by IPA SBRB, which tracks the views of small-business owners regarding economic and business issues.

The poll found energy and fuel costs most significantly affect 15 percent of small businesses, and material cost most significantly affects 13 percent. The poll also revealed small businesses are unprepared for disasters; have differing opinions about whether the minimum wage should increase; and are divided about the future of the estate tax.