Small businesses, including firms in New York, continue to struggle with high inflation costs to operate and difficult-to-fill job openings, according to a survey released Tuesday by the National Federation of Independent Business. 

In New York, businesses are also bracing for a rise in unemployment costs as the state faces an $8.1 billion debt owed to the Federal Unemployment Trust Fund. Interest on the debt is set to rise in November, and the added costs will be borne by employers. 

“Small businesses continue to face severe economic headwinds with unrelenting inflation, supply chain disruptions, and labor shortages driving expectations for better business conditions to a record low,” said NFIB’s New York State Director Ashley Ranslow. “It is imperative that New York State does everything it can to alleviate the strain small businesses are under by taking steps to address the state’s $8 billion outstanding federal Unemployment Insurance debt and reject legislation that increases workers’ compensation premiums. Now is the time to reduce costs and hold the line on any proposals that make it more difficult for Main Street businesses.”

Lawmakers and business organizations in New York over the last several months have urged action on the federal unemployment debt load. Meanwhile, businesses are reporting low inventory and the rising prices that have been passed on to consumers. 

The organization's "optimism index" fell by 3.6 points in June, the sixth month in a row it has dropped below a 48-year average of 98. 

The cost of doing business as inflation continues to rise across the country has also taken a hit: 34% of business owners reported the concern as the key issue facing them.