Main Street Monday – Average Main Street Business Expects No Sales Growth

November 22, 2021

Delaney Sexton
Contributing Editor

Main Street Monday – Average Main Street Business Expects No Sales Growth

“Small business owners are attempting to take advantage of current economic growth but remain pessimistic about business conditions in the near future,” says NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “One of the biggest problems for small businesses is the lack of workers for unfilled positions and inventory shortages, which will continue to be a problem during the holiday season.”

Here are the key statistics from the October NFIB Small Business Economic Trends report:

Labor Markets
• 24% of small business owners cited labor quality as their top business problem.
• Almost half of all small business owners reported job openings that they could not fill.
• 62% of owners said they were hiring or trying to hire more employees during the month of October.
• One-third of small business owners reported that there were no qualified candidates for the positions they were trying to fill, and a quarter of owners reported there being no qualified applicants.
• 44% of owners raised compensation in October and 32% plan on raising compensation within the next three months.

Small Business Sales
• Owners reporting higher nominal sales are the exception.
• 0% of owners are expecting higher sales volumes.
• Less small business owners reported positive profit trends in October.

Small Business Inventories
• A net 0% of small business owners reported inventory increases, down three points from September.
• 39% of small business owners say that supply chain disruptions have had a significant impact on their business. 29% state that supply chain disruptions have a moderate impact, 21% report a mild impact, and 10% report no impact on their business.
• Almost 10% of owners are saying that their inventory stocks are too low, and a net 8% of owners are planning inventory investments in the next few months.

“Not knowing the course of federal economic policies makes it harder to make the investment expenditures that will be needed to raise worker productivity. Add to that the unclear course of the virus and associated government policies and owners face an economy filled with uncertainty that must be resolved to figure out the likely course of the economy,” reads the SBET report.

NFIB October Small Business Economic Trends Report