Survey Says Small Businesses Still Struggling

Inside INdiana Business is reporting that the National Federation of Independent Business says data from its latest quarterly Small Business Economic Trends survey indicates small businesses are still balancing their everyday needs and the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey shows 75% of small businesses would apply or consider applying for a second round of Paycheck Protection Program funding.

The survey highlights the construction, manufacturing, retail, and services industries.

“While some sectors of Indiana’s economy feel optimism about the way things are heading, other industries have been harder hit and need another round of stimulus at the federal level,” said Barbara Quandt, NFIB state director in Indiana. “While the construction industry is feeling more optimistic, the services industry continues to lag behind.”

The NFIB says October’s Optimism Index was 107.0 for construction firms, up 6.5 points from July’s quarterly report. Construction firms recorded the highest measure of small business optimism among industries.

Record-low interest rates and a shortage of real estate inventory is driving demand for new construction. The data indicates construction firms are struggling to find qualified employees to meet demand.

The NFIB says October’s Optimism Index was 103.1 in manufacturing, a 2.7 point increase from July but below the overall Index. The manufacturing industry continues to recover from supply chain disruptions and business closures. Only 8% of manufacturing firms expect higher sales in the fourth quarter.

For the retail industry, October’s Optimism Index was 103.7, near the overall average of 104. The service industry saw an increase of 6.2 points in October’s Optimism Index but is still below the overall small business optimism.

You can connect to the full survey by clicking here.

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