Another consequence of a tight labor market and the need for skilled workers like we have in Greater Des Moines: Small businesses are getting snapped up. Our neighbors to the north at the Minneapolis Star Tribune took a look at this, and it reminded me of some of the news releases we’ve seen at the Business Record lately with some local smaller firms getting acquired by larger operations. We reported this example last week: “The Barrent Group, formed in 2008 by Richard Barrent and the late Richard Levitt to break down the mystery behind complicated mortgages, their investors and applicants, has been acquired by American Mortgage Consultants Inc., according to a release.” That’s not the first news item to appear in the AM or PM Daily in the last few months. The Star Tribune piece also points out that prices are running higher. One more excerpt: “I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and I can say that if this isn’t the top market, it’s the top one or two in recent years,” said Scott Bushkie, principal at Cornerstone Business Services, a mergers-and-acquisition firm based in Wisconsin that works with lower middle-market companies.