Hello, NFIB Member in Tennessee!
On July 11, NFIB’s Research Foundation released the Index of Small Business Optimism. Summarized, “The Index … fell 0.9 points to 103.6, but sustained the surge in optimism that started the day after the election. The Index peaked at 105.9 in January and has dropped 2.3 points to date, no doubt in part due to the mess in Washington, D.C. Four of the 10 Index components posted a gain, five declined, and one was unchanged. Progress is being made, but poorly communicated, and the biggest issues, healthcare and tax reform remain stuck in the bowels of Washington politics. Economic growth in the first half of this year will be about the same as we have experienced for the past three or four years, no real progress. There isn’t much euphoria in the outlook for the second half of the year.”
Meanwhile, here in Tennessee good news continues. Our unemployment rate is at a 16-year low, and workers’ comp and unemployment taxes also remain low. The Cato Institute’s Freedom rankings have Tennessee No. 2 in Labor and Fiscal Freedoms, No. 3 in Economic Freedom, and No. 6 overall. Occupational Freedom remains low, however, at No. 42 – a real job creation opportunity.
Where do we go from here? The U.S. economy is under-performing because of soaring healthcare costs, over-regulation and an unfair, burdensome tax system to small business. The Senate, as of this writing, plans to stay for the August recess instead of going home. Senators shouldn’t leave the Beltway, until they post results … like meaningful healthcare reform and tax reform.
When you see federal legislators this summer, thank those who are voting for reforms that help small businesses like yours. Make sure they know you’re watching how they vote on the Big Three – healthcare, taxes and regulations. Tell them gridlock won’t work. Be civil, but persistent and direct.
Please also thank your Tennessee senators and representatives for standing with small business. Small businesses in states like Illinois and California would love to be in your position. More of them may be here competing with you soon, given new tax increases, red tape and bloated budgets.
Enjoy the rest of your summer, and please let NFIB know when we can be of service.
Tennessee State Director