As small business owners try to recover and rebuild in the wake of the Covid pandemic, they face a new hurdle: a lack of workers.

A March survey by the National Federation of Independent Business found that 42% of owners had job openings that could not be filled, a record high. Ninety-one percent of those hiring or trying to hire reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill.

That is turning into a huge obstacle to growth for many small businesses, said Holly Wade, executive director of the NFIB Research Center.

“They have made it to this point and they’ve adjusted their business operations to get through the worst of the pandemic and now they are saddled with not being able to increase business operations when they find the opportunities,” she said.

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