Small business survey finds Nevada business owners facing similar challenges to those faced in 2022

Nevada Small Business Development Center examines the needs of small businesses around the state

Nov. 15, 2023


RENO, Nev. —  The Nevada Small Business Development Center in the College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno announced the results of the Nevada 2023 Small Business Challenges Survey this fall. The survey, which ran from Aug. 1 to Sept. 15, collected responses from 580 small business owners and entrepreneurs across the state of Nevada. Ninety-eight percent of all businesses in Nevada are small businesses.

“Keeping a finger on the pulse of what Nevada businesses need is critical so that organizations can adapt services and programs accordingly to support economic development,” Greg Mosier, dean of the College of Business, said.

Nevada’s existing and new small business owners are still struggling with many of the same issues identified in 2022. Much like last year’s survey results, existing small business owners primarily need help with business planning/adjusting business models, developing and expanding their customer base, and securing funding. For those entrepreneurs starting a business, finding funding is not a new challenge, but they also need help developing new ideas, understanding licensing, regulations, and taxes, and determining feasibility.

“This year’s Small Business Challenges Survey reiterated the need for business planning support and increased advising and training opportunities for business owners,” Nevada SBDC State Director Winnie Dowling said. “Specific areas of need include better awareness of cash flow, marketing to new and existing customers, and understanding of government licensing, permitting and regulations.”

For existing business owners, the top challenges cited were adapting to inflation (44%), finding new customers (44%), managing cash flow challenges (30%), managing business growth (29%) and securing funding (26%).

Top challenges in starting a business cited by Nevada entrepreneurs included securing funding (71%), developing marketing strategy (34%), developing a business plan (31%), understanding/complying with government regulations (28%) and determining if business/product will be profitable (25%).

Respondents operating in rural areas of Nevada faced similar challenges. However, adapting to inflation stood out as being of particular importance, with 62% of the 51 existing rural small business respondents citing inflation as a major challenge.

“In 2023, the Nevada Small Business Challenge Survey has proven to be invaluable and provided the data-driven foundation for devising Nevada’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Technical Assistance program application to the U.S. Treasury,” Karsten Heise, senior director of strategic programs & innovation at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the overseer of the SSBCI program, said. “Keeping track of Nevada’s small business needs, particularly with respect to access to capital, enables our SSBCI Technical Assistance Program to be nimble and responsive.”

GOED has partnered with the Nevada SBDC, which is its sole sub-grantee for the operation for SSBCI Technical Assistance. Complete results of the Nevada 2023 Small Business Challenges Survey may be found online.

– @unevadareno –


About the Nevada Small Business Development Center

The Nevada SBDC, hosted by the College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno and supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, has offered no-cost and confidential professional advising services to Nevada small businesses since 1985. Nevada SBDC clients are advised by professionals who utilize their educational and business experience to provide practical, relevant advice to small business owner and prospective small business owners. Advising services include marketing, accounting and record keeping, loan applications, new business start-up, capital formation, technology development assistance, business planning and much more. Approximately 98% of all firms in Nevada are considered small businesses and therefore qualify for Nevada SBDC advising services. To request no-cost, confidential small business advising from the Nevada SBDC, visit


About the University of Nevada, Reno
The University of Nevada, Reno is a public research university that is committed to the promise of a future powered by knowledge. Nevada’s land-grant university founded in 1874, the University serves 21,000 students. The University is a comprehensive, doctoral university, classified as an R1 institution with very high research activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Additionally, it has attained the prestigious “Carnegie Engaged” classification, reflecting its student and institutional impact on civic engagement and service, fostered by extensive community and statewide collaborations. More than $800 million in advanced labs, residence halls and facilities has been invested on campus since 2009. It is home to the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and Wolf Pack Athletics, maintains a statewide outreach mission and presence through programs such as the University of Nevada, Reno Extension, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, Small Business Development Center, Nevada Seismological Laboratory, and is part of the Nevada System of Higher Education. Through a commitment to world-improving research, student success and outreach benefiting the communities and businesses of Nevada, the University has impact across the state and around the world. For more information, visit

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