All over the nation, small businesses, including Black-owned ones, are battling to catch some relief from challenging operating conditions. Small businesses face a range of new obstacles like retaining customers as prices to buy goods skyrocket and finding and keeping workers in a highly competitive job market.

These draining forces come as a large number of businesses that managed to stay open attempt to rebound from the dire impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that struck two years ago. To make matters worse, many entrepreneurs now fear that the Federal Reserve’s recent actions to boost interest rates could reduce consumer spending and traffic activity as borrowing costs rise.

Recent reports display a dreary outlook. For instance, the June NFIB Small Business Optimism Index showed that small business owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months fell to a negative 61%, an all-time low for the 48-year survey.

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