You can see the recovery, the rebound, the return to normal happening all across the nation and the state of Louisiana. The problem appears to be that it's just not happening fast enough for Louisiana business owners to feel really good about their situation heading into the most lucrative retail time of the year, the holiday season.

Now, the holiday season isn't just about shopping for Christmas presents. Think about all of the other ancillary activities that go along with the holidays. There is travel. There are parties. There are gatherings. There are so many other businesses, other than retail shops that depend on this time of year to make their business profitable.

The National Federation of Independent Business is the country's largest small business association. It is headquartered in Nashville Tennessee but there is an NFIB office in Louisiana. Recently, the NFIB conducted a survey of business owners. They were specifically asking about how optimistic they were heading into the shopping season.

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Based on what we've read, our Louisiana business owners are not pessimistic but they certainly aren't as bright-eyed toward the future as they once were. The main reasons for their less than a glowing attitude of anticipation are two-fold. First, there is a concern with the supply chain. Second, there are still issues with finding workers.

More than 60% of those businesses surveyed said they are experiencing disruptions in getting the products they need to run their business. Those surveyed seemed to suggest that the supply chain issue is worse today than it was three months ago.

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The other elephant in the room is staffing. Almost half of all business owners surveyed for the NFIB study said they were still having issues finding people to work. More than one-fourth of businesses surveyed said the worker shortage was a critical issue for their operation.

Many of the surveyed business owners also hinted that they are going to have to start charging higher prices to pay for higher employee salaries and to get products needed for their daily operation. This means that the issues these business owners are having will eventually be paid for by you and me.

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Obviously, things are better than they were one year ago. We do have more and more businesses rebounding and thriving. We are seeing more and more Louisiana residents return to work. And, the recruitment ads for the oil and gas industry have started to play on the radio again. I think that means better times are coming, they just might not arrive until after Christmas this year.

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