Small business owners and managers across the U.S. are raising their prices and increasing shipping and handling fees in response to inflationary pressures, according to a new survey.

The Small Business Research Board found that 59 percent of the 1,000 small business owners and managers it polled were feeling inflationary pressures in the third quarter of this year, while 65 percent of those businesses have raised prices in response to the increasing inflationary pressures.

For those businesses adjusting their prices, 23 percent have already added or increased shipping and handling fees, and 21 percent have chosen to reduce other operating costs. Small businesses are also renegotiating customer-pricing agreements in order to offset costs. Fifteen percent of the respondents are negotiating long-term fixed-cost supply contracts, and 12 percent are reducing their lead times.

Forty-five percent of the small business owners and managers polled in the quarterly survey anticipate a worse economy in the next 12 months, and 27 percent expect no change in the economy. Only 22 percent of the respondents indicated they intend to increase hiring the next 12 months, a decrease of 15 points from the 37 percent reported in the survey during the second quarter of this year.

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