DALLAS - Some small business owners in North Texas are losing confidence in the strength of the economy and expect a slowdown in job creation over the next three to six months.
COVID-19 has created two major issues for small business owners.
Optimism among small business owners is on the decline. One reason is the disruptions to the supply chain. But the biggest reason is they can't find qualified workers.
At Del's Charcoal Burgers, the coronavirus pandemic has taken a big bite out of business.
"Well, it's been very hard, but we've been here for 64 years," said Hoss Tahercadh. "So we cannot go anywhere. We have to keep on going."
Signs of the times are everywhere.
"We're in a 48-year high for our members not being able to fill job positions," said Annie Spillman, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business.
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An optimism survey from the National Federation of Independent Business shows 49% of small business owners report job openings that cannot be filled.
Earning trends have declined by eight points over the past three months to a -13%.
There's an 11-point decrease in sales expectations and an eight-point decrease in expectations that business will get better
"It's been much more difficult than I've ever seen it in the 25 years that we have owned W.W. Canon just trying to get someone to answer the ad," said Sonia Brown.
Greg and Sonia Brown own wholesale distributor W.W. Cannon, businesses that sell to other businesses facing the same challenges.
Adding to their people problem are the supply chain disruptions.
"It's not uncommon that we get a phone call saying, ‘We’re waiting for these components to come in so we can manufacture what we make for you,’" Greg recalled. "Flights are late. Materials shipments are late. It just goes on and on."
It’s a double whammy for small businesses with a lack of supplies and workers.
"So the combination of the two is very scary for small businesses trying to operate in the state of Texas," Spillman said.
"It's very tough right now," Tahercadh said. "But hopefully, employees are gonna come back and we can get back to normal."
With profit margins shrinking, small business owners say they're thinking of ways they can just hang on until COVID is gone and workers come back.