President Joe Biden on Monday met with CEOs from some of the nation's largest retailers and grocers to discuss ways to ensure shelves are stocked ahead of the holiday season.

Biden thanked the executives for joining him at the White House before expressing optimism that this year’s holiday season will harken to a return to normalcy as the economy recovers.

Citing recent jobs data, Biden said “4.5 million more Americans than last year had the dignity of a job." Looking ahead to the holidays, he said "we feel a lot more like we did in the past."

Prior to the meeting, the White House described the event as a way to “strengthen the nation’s supply chains, lower everyday costs for families and ensure that shelves are well-stocked this holiday season.” Biden echoed this tone and framed the gathering as a listening session to hear how business leaders were grappling with the challenges of supply chain bottlenecks and to hear ways his administration can help ease them.

For months, the Biden administration has made tackling supply chain bottlenecks a priority as part of its strategy to tamp down rising inflation.

The administration has established partnerships at home and abroad to unwind the supply chain bottlenecks that have driven up prices. The White House announced the formation of a Supply Chain Disruption Task Force in July to coordinate efforts to bring prices down and goods to market.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon sounded a positive note about his company's supplies. McMillon acknowledged that there was concern about supply chains, but said Walmart’s inventories were higher than they were last year.

“We think we are going to have a really good holiday season," said McMillon, who joined the discussion virtually. "We are seeing progress that the port and transit delays are improving."

Notably absent from the discussion was a representative from the small business community despite Biden remarking that it was his interest to hear about their supply concerns.

Unlike larger retailers like those present at the gathering, small businesses lack the resources to have stocked their inventories well in advance of the holiday season. On Nov. 4, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) reported that 48% of small business owners were experiencing significant impacts from supply chain disruptions and 90% expected it to remain challenging through 2022.