Small businesses continue to be weighed down by historic inflation, chronic labor shortages, and pessimistic expectations of economic conditions for the future, according to the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index. Small businesses are still facing tremendous price pressure that is forcing them to raise prices on their customers.
- Owners are Expecting a Weak Economy: 45 percent of small business owners expect worsening business conditions in the coming months
- Labor Shortage Is Making Hiring Challenging: 57 percent of small businesses tried or hired in January. Of those, a shocking 91 percent of small business owners reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Blue-collar industries like construction, transportation, and manufacturing have had the hardest time filling open positions.
- Small Businesses Continue to Suffer from Biden’s Inflation Crisis: 42 percent of small businesses had to raise their prices in the month of January. 46 percent of small businesses had to raise employee pay to help employees keep up with the worst inflation crisis in 41 years.
In early February, the Ways and Means Committee heard directly from West Virginia small business owners about the struggles they are facing after two years of Democrat one-party rule. Listen to them testify about how they are fighting to stay open and keep staff employed:
- Ashley Bachman, mom of 3 and local restaurant owner: “Unfortunately, after COVID, we have been hit with another crisis. The crisis of rising costs of everything.“
- Tom Plaugher, VP of Operations a WV lumber company: “There are five critical problems that have materialized over the past two years that are poised to impact our industry once again in 2023.”
- Wylie McDade, Navy veteran and co-owner of a local distillery: “Much has changed in the past 2 years.”