Small Businesses Are Less Optimistic About the Future

(The Center Square) Small businesses are less optimistic about the future, a newly released survey shows.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses released survey results showing their small business optimism index decreased in March, “marking the 15th consecutive month below the 49-year average of 98.”

“Small business owners are cynical about future economic conditions,” NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said. “Hiring plans fell to their lowest level since May 2020, but strong consumer spending has kept Main Street alive and supported strong labor demand.”

The survey results found other troubling economic indicators.

“A net negative 6% of all owners (seasonally adjusted) reported higher nominal sales in the past three months. Sales are trending down,” the group said. “The net percent of owners expecting higher real sales volumes deteriorated six points to a net negative 15%.”

NFIB also recently reported that small businesses are citing the labor market as a top concern, with 43% of small businesses saying they have job openings they cannot fill. The group has also raised serious concerns about President Joe Biden’s proposed tax increases.

The small business group launched an ad campaign to push back on tax increases on small businesses proposed in Biden’s latest budget. The NFIB launched an ad campaign to push back on those tax hikes put forward in Biden’s recent budget proposal.

“Main Street cannot afford these new tax increases,” NFIB President Brad Close said.

“As expectations for better business conditions remain low, while high inflation and worker shortages continue to plague Main Street, these proposals would hurt small businesses’ ability to recover, grow and create jobs. The White House should instead focus on promoting economic growth by providing certainty, such as permanently extending the Small Business Deduction.”