Palmetto State Extra: The Small Business Report

May 17, 2022

**Learn For Free And Apply For A $10k Small Business Grant**

Verizon Small Business Digital Ready is committed to helping small businesses grow. It’s why we set up our program to arm businesses just like yours with the tools and resources needed to thrive in today’s digital economy.

By joining our free platform, you’ll not only get access to courses, live coaching sessions, and invaluable learning materials, but can also qualify to apply for an exclusive pool of $10,000 small business grants.

In partnership with LISC, Verizon has committed over $1M in small business grants for 2022 and opportunities to apply will be available throughout the year. To unlock the application for the current round of grant funding, register on Verizon Small Business Digital Ready, complete two courses or live coaching events, and apply by June 30, 2022.

Applications opened on April 25, 2022 and will close on June 30, 2022. All applicants will be notified about whether or not they have been selected to receive grant funding by July 11, 2022

**Twenty-three Percent of Owners Cited Labor Quality As Top Business Problem**

Small business owners continue to attempt to fill historically high levels of open positions, according to NFIB’s monthly jobs report. Twenty-three percent of owners said that labor quality was their top business problem, up one point from last month and in second place behind inflation. Eight percent of owners cited labor costs as their top business problem. Reports of labor costs as the top business problem are at 48-year record high levels, just five points below the record set in December 2021.

“The labor force participation rate is slowly rising, which is good news for small businesses looking for workers,” said Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB Chief Economist. “While wage gains have been good, inflation has outpaced it, reducing real disposable income. Small employers continue to raise wages and make business adjustments to attract qualified employees.”

Seasonally adjusted, a net 46% of owners reported raising compensation, down three points from March. A net 27% of owners plan to raise compensation in the next three months, down one point from March. Both actual and planned compensation changes eased in March but remain near record high levels.

**Fayetteville State Looks Forward To Opportunities Sprouting From New Entrepreneurship Hub**

Fayetteville State University is looking forward to the stimulation of the local economy through the upcoming opening of a new innovation and entrepreneurship hub!

At least 30 new jobs or businesses within two years. That’s the goal of Fayetteville State University for its new innovation and entrepreneurship hub, scheduled to open in the fall.

FSU Chancellor Darrell Allison said on Monday during the Fayetteville City Council meeting that this mission was personal to him. “Stuff like this is very much needed,” he said. “What better time than now?”