Small business, big anxiety this year

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By CASEY HARPER

Small businesses are citing the highest levels of uncertainty since the Covid-19 pandemic, a concerning economic indicator.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses released the survey of small businesses, which found that small business uncertainty spiked in May.

NFIB keeps an “Uncertainty Index” which spiked 9 percentage points last month, hitting the highest level since November of 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic was raging and businesses were shutting down across the country.

“The small business sector is responsible for the production of over 40% of GDP and employment, a crucial portion of the economy,” NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said in a statement. “But for 29 consecutive months, small business owners have expressed historically low optimism and their views about future business conditions are at the worst levels seen in 50 years. Small business owners need relief as inflation has not eased much on Main Street.”

Meanwhile, 22% of small businesses cited inflation as the biggest concern operating their business. Inflation has remained stubbornly elevated this year, although lower than the record pace earlier in President Joe Biden’s term.

“Price hikes were the most frequent in the retail (55% higher, 6% lower), finance (50% higher, 3% lower), construction (42% higher, 9% lower), manufacturing (42% higher, 12% lower), and services (37% higher, 6% lower) sectors,” NFIB said in its report. “Seasonally adjusted, a net 28% plan price hikes in May.”

5 COMMENTS

  1. Swing by your dry cleaner and notice that they’re now commonly requesting payment at drop off rather than pick up. Swing by your local breakfast cafe’ and see if it’s as packed as you recall… or if the tip jar is as full.

    They might be hillbilly benchmarks but they’re accurate.

    What happens when your favorite single mom waitress isn’t making enough on the tips rec’d from slinging eggs?

  2. A few observations:

    As per the SBA (Small Business Administration), a small business is defined as one being less than 500-Employees. IMO, seems like the definition is somewhat generous and questionable.

    Yes, inflation is most likely a key component. But, so is:
    … Employee Retention
    … Un-Reasonable // Un-Realistic Demanding Employees.
    … Sr Employees Fed-Up with the Political Correctness BS!
    … Sr Employees having to train they’re untalented – ungrateful replacement.
    … Dealing with Run-A-Muk // Unhinged // Unelected Guv’Ment Officials.
    … Incessant // Ever-Increasing Taxes.
    … Uneven Playing Field (ie: competing against “8(a) Native Corps”).
    … Increasing operating costs that are challenging to pass along.
    … Lack of a realistic succession plan.
    … Changing business model that warrants to take profits and pursue something other, something more predictable, something else that brings personal joy and happiness.

  3. Small businesses make our towns what they are. You don’t see many tourists going to large chain stores to buy locally made products. When I was in London I didn’t go to Sainsbury’s to buy my trinkets. I went to the mom and pop shops. We travel to far away places to mingle with the the real people not some chain store cashier!

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