Slip in Small-Business Optimism Draws California Comment

Date: June 08, 2021

Legislature should hit the pause button on its many proposals to increase regulations

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 8, 2021—Small-business optimism hit a bump in the road in May, according to today’s release of the National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Economic Trends report, also known as the Optimism Index.

“May saw a slight pause in the recovery of small business optimism after steadily increasing each month in 2021,” said a national news release issued by NFIB. “As reported in NFIB’s monthly jobs report, a record-high 48% of owners reported unfilled job openings.”

Commenting locally, John Kabateck, NFIB California’s state director said, “This is not the type of news we would have preferred hearing heading into the vacation months in our state’s tourist-heavy economy. I think some warning lights, if not alarm bells, should be raised especially for our State Legislature. Let’s hit the pause button on the many proposals to increase regulations long enough to let the economy sort itself out—Not that I’m expecting them to do so, but California is the land of dreams.”

From NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg

“The labor shortage is holding back growth for small businesses across the country. If small business owners could hire more workers to take care of customers, sales would be higher and getting closer to pre-COVID levels. In addition, inflation on Main Street is rampant and small business owners are uncertain about future business conditions.”

Other key findings include:

  • Five of the 10 Index components improved, three declined, and two were unchanged.
  • The NFIB Uncertainty Index decreased one point to 79.
  • Job creation plans over the next three months rose to a net 27%, up six points.
  • Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months fell 11 points to a net negative 26%.
  • Earnings trends over the past three months declined four points to a net negative 11%.

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

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

1130 K St. Suite 150
Sacramento, CA 95814
Twitter: @NFIB_CA
Facebook: @NFIB.CA


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