May marks the sixth month in a row that small business optimism has sustained its record high streak, according to NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index report released this week.
FOX Business dug into the data, identifying unprecedented levels of optimism from throughout the NFIB survey’s 43 years. Although the index signals several positives this month, spending on capital remains low, an indicator that this moment of economic growth might not be as strong as it seems. So, how can policymakers keep the confidence among small business owners moving forward?
The Trump administration’s efforts to provide more regulatory relief, like the dismantling of Obama-era environmental regulations and plans to deregulate the manufacturing industry, are a step in the right direction.
“Small business owners are highly encouraged by the President’s regulatory reform agenda, and they remain optimistic there will be tax reform and healthcare reform. This is a policy-driven phenomenon,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan about May’s optimism levels.
Healthcare reform is on the horizon as the Senate works to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act by amending the American Health Care Act legislation that passed in the House. The Senate aims to vote on their version of the AHCA bill before the July 4 recess, according to The Hill.
However, tax reform is key to keeping the optimism momentum and the farthest out of reach. “If Congress wants small businesses to invest in the economy, then they must cut taxes and simplify the code,” said Duggan. The administration’s tax plan promises to simplify the tax code. Yet, specifics are still forthcoming, and legislators are busy tackling a plethora of issues.
“The President’s tax plan would slash taxes for small businesses and level the playing field for businesses of every size and structure,” said Duggan. “Congress also has other good ideas for tax reform, but they need to stop talking and pass a bill.”