Whether New Yorkers are buying a new outfit for a special occasion at a local boutique, or getting everyday food items from area grocers, they rely on small businesses. Yet many of those businesses face challenges, and need support to stay afloat.

"Things are going in the wrong direction, particularly for independent retailers," said Ashley Ranslow, New York state director of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Ranslow joined Spectrum News 1 to discuss what businesses can do recruit and retrain staff at a time of employee shortages.

She also addressed the higher costs of salaries and benefits, federal interest rates and the federation's priorities for the next legislative session in New York. 

July is National Independent Retailer Month.