NFIB Weekly News

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NFIB Weekly News Leading the News

Small Business Optimism Increases Slightly In December (01/11/2022)

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (1/10) increased slightly to a 98.9 reading in December, up 0.5 points from November. Twenty-two percent of small business owners reported inflation as the single most important problem encountered in their business operations. NFIB says price-raising activities has reached levels not seen since the early 1980s. NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg was quoted saying, “Small businesses unfortunately saw a disappointing December jobs report, with staffing issues continuing to impact their ability to be fully productive. ... Inflation is at the highest level since the 1980’s and is having an overwhelming impact on owners’ ability to manage their businesses.”

Business Climate

US To Spend $10B To Help Small Businesses (01/11/2022)

The Wall Street Journal (1/8, Omeokwe, Subscription Publication) reported that under the State Small Business Credit Initiative, the federal government planned to offer $10 billion to assist small companies get access to capital. The program was meant to spur business in disadvantaged communities and to bolster the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

Meanwhile, another article in the Wall Street Journal (1/8, Haddon, Subscription Publication) reported that in a letter to members of Congress, over 3,300 restaurant operators warned their businesses may shut permanently unless lawmakers revive the federal fund created last year to assist the food-service industry. The operators pointed out in their letter that as the pandemic approaches the end of its second year, the restaurant industry is grappling with high costs and fearful customers.

Small Business Marketing

Social Media Commerce Growing At “Torrid Pace” (01/11/2022)

The E-Commerce Times (1/5) reported, “Shopping on social media platforms is growing at a torrid pace — three times faster than traditional e-commerce platforms — and is on a pace to reach US$1.2 trillion globally by 2025, according to a study released Tuesday by” Accenture. Accenture Managing Director Kevin Collins said, “Like many internet trends, it will start with a younger generation, but it’s not going to stay there. ... We have TikTok moms now...and Gen X’s and boomers have been coming to TikTok over the last year and are really starting to make some noise and do some really interesting things on the platform. I think social commerce is going to go the same way.”

Wages and Benefits

Unemployment Rate Fell To 3.9% In December; Wage Gains Accelerated (01/11/2022)

Bloomberg (1/7, Pickert) reported the Labor Department announced last Friday that the US unemployment rate “fell below 4% and wages jumped last month, adding to evidence of a tight labor market that’s expected to help spur Federal Reserve interest-rate liftoff as soon as March despite disappointing payroll growth.”

The AP (1/7, Rugaber) reported that the unemployment rate “fell in December to a healthy 3.9% – a pandemic low – even as employers added a modest 199,000 jobs, evidence that they are struggling to fill jobs with many Americans reluctant to return to the workforce.” The AP also reported, “The drop in the jobless rate, from 4.2% in November, indicated that many more people found work last month. Indeed, despite the slight hiring gain reported by businesses, 651,000 more workers said they were employed in December compared with November.” The AP added that “wages also rose sharply in December, with average hourly pay jumping 4.7% compared with a year ago.”