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The growing challenge for small businesses

9374000_MSmall business optimism is climbing, but there’s one unresolved issue that many small business owners are grappling with. More than half of small businesses nationwide say they are having difficulty finding qualified workers to fill available positions, according to a survey by National Federation of Independent Business. That’s an all-time record.

As a result, according to the NFIB, more businesses have begun increasing compensation to better attract and retain quality employees. Nearly one-quarter of businesses are planning to increase employee compensation this year, the second-highest percentage on record and the highest share since early 2000.

There is still a significant number of businesses, however, worried about the added costs. They are adopting a wait-and-see approach and making do with their existing workforces. For many growing businesses, however, this option is only a short-term solution.

Taxes, the rising cost of offering health insurance and government regulations were the top concern of small businesses in 2017, according to NFIB. This year, NFIB expects the issue of finding qualified workers to take center stage.