Another wave of pessimism on Main Street. Hiring difficulties. Rising costs.

Those are three unavoidable takeaways from recent survey small business survey data. As the Small Business Administration leads celebration of National Small Business Week, these pose a major challenge to the country’s small business recovery.

Growing Pessimism

For most of 2021, the overall sentiment index in the Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey improved steadily. Survey readings since mid-August, however, show a growing share of small businesses with weekly declines in revenues. At the beginning of September, one-quarter of small businesses said their revenues declined in the prior week. That’s still well below the readings of 2020 and early 2021, when 30 to 40% of small businesses were…

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