NFIB Weekly News

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NFIB Weekly News Leading the News

Small Business Owners Contend With “Strong Headwinds” Amid Economic “Roller Coaster” (10/26/2021)

NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg wrote in Forbes (10/20, Dunkelberg) that “since 2019, the economy has been on a roller coaster growth trip,” but it is now “approaching ‘normal’ and growth is slowing to historically typical rates. But the recovery has not been easy on Main Street. More small business owners predict that their local economy will take longer to return to pre-crisis levels than did so two months ago.” Dunkelberg added, “This squares with the rather pessimistic view owners hold regarding future business conditions overall. Only 10% of small employers expected better business conditions in September, down from 53% in April 2020 and 25% in April 2021.” Owners face “strong headwinds operating their business, including significant staffing shortages, supply chain disruptions, and surging Covid-19 infection rates in some parts of the country.”

In a sponsored article in ColoradoBiz Magazine (10/18), Shawn McGoff head of Commercial, EVP, at Citywide Banks discussed the supply chain issues small businesses are expected to face “for some time,” saying, “it’s time to reassess supply-chain design and ordering practices.” McGoff quoted NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg: “As the economy moves into the fourth quarter, small business owners are losing confidence in the strength of future business conditions. The biggest problems facing small employers right now is finding enough labor to meet their demand and for many, managing supply chain disruptions.”

Business Climate

Fed Report Says Economy Faces Headwinds But Consumer Spending Remains Positive (10/26/2021)

The AP (10/20, Crutsinger) reported the Federal Reserve reports in its latest “beige book” report on business conditions around the country “that the economy faced a number of headwinds at the start of this month, ranging from supply-chain disruptions and labor shortages to uncertainty about the delta variant of COVID.” The Fed “said Wednesday that a majority of its 12 regions viewed consumer spending, the main driving force for the economy, as remaining positive despite the various speed bumps.” But, the report “noted wide differences in performance. ... It noted that auto sales suffered because of constrained inventories due to problems obtaining critical semiconductor components. Manufacturing, meanwhile, was growing either moderately or robustly depending on which Fed district was reporting.” The Wall Street Journal (10/20, Subscription Publication) said many business said they anticipate that higher prices and supply shortages to continue for another year.

Small Business Marketing

Instagram Testing Affiliate Shops For Influencers (10/26/2021)

Insider (10/22, Bradley) reported that Instagram’s “affiliate marketing test is expanding with a new feature: a shoppable landing page for influencers,” offering a “a platform-native option” for affiliate links. Insider explained that “prior to Instagram testing its own native affiliate program, influencers relied on platforms like LTK or ShopStyle Collective for these links,” but now, “creators with access to the tool will be able to make ‘collections’ of products that are eligible for commission.” Additionally, users can “sort through an influencer’s shop and collections by searching for specific products, or filtering by price or sale items.”

Wages and Benefits

>Economists Say Factors Behind Low Labor Force Participation Could Be Slow To Reverse (10/26/2021)