Small-business owners say they have plenty of customers, but in a worrying sign for the U.S. economy, they are growing frustrated by shortages of supplies and skilled labor that are hampering sales.
A closely followed gauge of small-business confidence fell in September to a six-month low, reflecting widespread shortages in the economy that are hampering the speed of the U.S. recovery.
The National Federation of Independent Business said its optimism index slipped one point to 99.1 in September. That’s the lowest reading since March.
What’s the problem? Small businesses complain they cannot find enough skilled workers even after raising pay. Nor can they obtain parts and supplies fast enough to keep up with demand. These problems have also affected the largest businesses across the country.
“Small-business owners are doing their best to meet the needs of customers, but are unable to hire…