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This article was written by Wolf Richter and originally published at Wolf Street
Small businesses are tough. Many disappear quietly. Hiring is an issue. Due to the limited resources, small businesses have trouble competing with large corporations in terms of pay, benefits, glitzy workplaces, and LinkedIn glamor. But in the current era of the Stimulus Good Times with its huge kinks, labor issues hit records – the weird phenomenon of 13 million people claiming unemployment compensation while companies are having trouble hiring.
In addition to a slew of labor issues, small businesses face inventory shortages. And they responded to the challenges where everything costs more – including their labor – by raising prices in record numbers, according to data from the NFIB, the largest trade organization in the US for small businesses.
Of the small businesses, 46% reported that they had job openings in June that couldn’t be filled, the second highest in the NFIB’s data going back to 1986, just below the record in May:
Plans to increase employment over the next three months rose to a new record in June. The employment index tracks the percent of owners who plan to “increase” staff minus those who plan to “decrease” staff over the next three months:
And they have been raising compensation. In June, the compensation index jumped to an all-time high. The index tracks the net of increases minus decreases over the past three months. It shows that small business owners are straining to add and retain staff:
The top problem that owners said their businesses faced was the “quality of labor” they were able to attract.
Over half of the owners said that they get “few or no qualified applicants” for the job openings they have. For small businesses, this issue is always high in hot labor markets, but it’s much less of an issue when then the labor market tanks sending high-quality labor looking for jobs.
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The difficulties small businesses have in retaining and adding staff, given the aggressive hiring practices by larger companies that a small business might not be able to compete with, is shown in the index for actual net increases of employment, which has remained slightly negative for the past two months, as these businesses are even having trouble hanging on to their staff:
And small businesses have raised their prices over the “past three months” at a pace that spiked far beyond all prior periods in the data going back to 1986. The survey data doesn’t extend back to the high-inflation days of the late 1970s and early 1980s, so we lack that reference. But this is huge:
And it’s going to get bigger: A record portion of small businesses are still planning to raise their prices over the “next three months”:
Small businesses, more often than not, carry more inventory than they want, and inventory being “too low” is generally not a big issue, according to the NFIB data. But this changed radically in June last year, when this metric began spiking to hit a new all-time record in June this year:
Owners of small businesses are feeling fairly optimistic overall, with the NFIB’s Optimism Index at 102. While down from the peak periods of optimism in the 107 range, it’s up a bunch from 91 during the dark days in April 2020, and from 81 during the low of the Financial Crisis in March 2009.
The Dangers of Speaking the Truth Diminish If We Work Together
It’s becoming harder and harder for patriots to ignore the deep suppression of truth that’s happening in America today.
In all of my years in journalism, I have never received as many threats or been attacked by big companies like Google and Facebook as I have in 2021. I’d say that ever since we started covering widespread voter fraud, government-endorsed Pandemic Panic Theater, vaccine cover-ups, Critical Race Theory, and the various Neo-Marxist and Satanic agendas at play, I’ve been targeted more in months than the entirety of my life prior.
Speaking the truth is getting harder with so much censorship and suppression rampant. Prior to 2020, I was not a “conspiracy theorist” or an “anti-vaxxer,” but if there’s one thing the onslaught of exposed lies have taught us in the last 18 months, it’s that we cannot take what we’re told by the “arbiters of truth” at face value. There’s an agenda behind every message, a narrative driving every story, and a series of gigantic cover-ups designed to keep the masses in the dark.
This is why we’re building a network of news outlets that are willing to go against the narrative and expose the truth. We need help. We’re establishing strong partnerships with like-minded news outlets and courageous journalists. Even as Big Tech suppresses us, the honest messages they’re trying to quash are finding their way to the eyes and ears of patriots across the nation. With the help of new content partners like The Epoch Times and The Liberty Daily, we’re starting to see a real impact.
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Our network is currently comprised of nine sites:
- NOQ Report
- Conservative Playlist
- Truth. Based. Media.
- Freedom First Network
- Based Underground
- Uncanceled News
- American Conservative Movement
- Conservative Playbook
- Our Gold Guy
Some of our content is spread across all of these sites. Other pieces of content are unique. We write most of what we post but we also draw from those willing to allow us to share their quality articles, videos, and podcasts. We collect the best content from fellow conservative sites that give us permission to republish them. We’re not ego-driven; I’d much rather post a properly attributed story written by experts like Dr. Joseph Mercola or Natural News than rewrite it like so many outlets like to do. We’re not here to take credit. We’re here to spread the truth.
I’ve said much of this before. From time to time I reframe this request for assistance by taking the most relevant message of the day and adjusting the story accordingly. We’ve discussed this network in previous articles. Now, it’s time to talk about help. First and foremost, we need financial assistance detailed below. But we could also use more writers who are willing to volunteer their thoughts for the sake of spreading the message. Those who are interested should contact me directly.
As far as money, we’re looking better than we have in the recent past, but we are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $2200-$7800 per month. May, 2021, for example, was amazing and we almost broke even. June, revenue was sluggish at best and we had to make up a big difference out of our pockets. But we’re not just trying to get out of the red. If and when we start getting enough contributions to expand, we will do just that. Very few get into journalism to try to get rich and we’re definitely not among those who do. Our success is driven by spreading the truth, profitable or not.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring proper news and opinions to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal or Bitcoin as well. Bitcoin: 3A1ELVhGgrwrypwTJhPwnaTVGmuqyQrMB8
Time is short. As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going. Our promise is this: We will never sell out America. If that means we’re going to struggle for a while or even indefinitely, so be it. Integrity first. Truth first. America first.
Thank you and God Bless,
Yes, We Need Your Help
I hate being “that guy” who asks people to donate because I think our conservative news network is so crucial, but here I am…
When I left my cushy corporate job in 2017, I did so knowing that my family would have to make sacrifices. But I couldn’t continue to watch the nation slip into oblivion and was inspired by President Trump’s willingness to fight the good fight even at his own personal expense. What I didn’t realize then is that conservative media would be so heavily attacked, canceled, and defunded that the sacrifices would be extreme.
Many in this nation are struggling right now even though we weren’t struggling just a few years ago. I’m not alone. But I wake up every morning and operate the sites we’ve been able to build because there’s really no other choice. I refuse to be beholden to Big Tech like so many other conservative news outlets, which is why you won’t see Google ads here. With that said, it’s often challenging to pay the bills and it’s even harder to expand so we can get the America First message out to a wider audience.
The economic downturn has forced me to make a plea for help. Between cancel culture, lockdowns, and diminishing ad revenue, we need financial assistance in order to continue to spread the truth. We ask all who have the means, please donate through our new GiveSendGo. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to expand our reach so the truth can get to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
We currently operate:
- NOQ Report
- Conservative Playlist
- Uncanceled News
- Based Underground
- Truth Based Media
- Five other conservative news sites
I would even be willing to entertain investments and partnerships at this stage. I’ve turned them down in the past because editorial purity is extremely important. I’ll turn them down again if anyone wants us to start supporting RINOs or avoid “taboo” topics like voter fraud, vaccines, or transgender supremacy. But I’d talk to fellow America First patriots who want to help any (or all) of our 10 news sites. Hit me up at jdrucker (at) substack (dot) com if you’re interested.
For those who have the means and just want to help keep the mission of spreading a conservative, Christian message to the nation, please consider a generous donation.