Comment on Another Grim Small Business Optimism Report

Date: April 12, 2022

California’s Main Street enterprises still in a world of hurt

Contact: John Kabateck, California State Director, [email protected]
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager, [email protected]

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 12, 2022—Today’s release of the latest Small Business Economic Trends report (aka the Optimism Index) wasn’t expected to have any good news, and it didn’t disappoint.

“What our latest Optimism Index showed is that there is little optimism along the Main Streets of America that the economy is going to improve any time soon,” said John Kabateck, California state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), which produces the monthly Optimism Index. The Index is a national snapshot not broken down by state.

“The California Legislature is on Spring Recess this week, and I suggest that they make an extra effort to meet with some of the small-business owners in their districts and listen to what they have to say,” said Kabateck. “Maybe upon their return to Sacramento they can put the brakes on proposals that will put the small-business economy in even more dire straits, such as upending the longstanding process for settling workers’ compensation claims or ruining the highly successful fast-food franchise model that has created untold thousands of jobs for decades. Small businesses have already dodged a couple of bullets this year by the failures of mandatory vaccine requirements and universal health-care scheme to advance, but lawmakers must stop sending the wrong signals again and again.”

Key findings from today’s Index include:

  • Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months decreased 14 points to a net negative 49%, the lowest level recorded in the 48-year-old survey.

  • Forty-seven percent of owners reported job openings that could not be filled, a decrease of one point from February.

  • The net percent of owners raising average selling prices increased four points to a net 72% (seasonally adjusted), the highest reading in the survey’s history.

From NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg

“Inflation has impacted small businesses throughout the country and is now their most important business problem. With inflation, an ongoing staffing shortage, and supply chain disruptions, small business owners remain pessimistic about their future business conditions.”

Keep up with the latest on California small-business news at, where this release can also be read, or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_CA or on Facebook @NFIB.CA.


For 78 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven association. Since its founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit

NFIB California
915 L. Street, Suite C-411
Sacramento, CA 95814
Twitter: @NFIB_CA
Facebook: @NFIB.CA


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