Colorado Comment on Dip in Small Business Optimism Index

Date: August 10, 2021

Main Street still struggling with a multitude of problems

DENVER, August 10, 2021—Comment from Tony Gagliardi, Colorado state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) on today’s release of the federation’s latest Small Business Economic Trends Report, also known as the Optimism Index. NFIB’s Jobs Report, released last Thursday, is one of the 10 components of the Optimism Index.

“Instead of things getting easier for small-business owners to get back on their feet, they continue to face a multitude of barriers, such as getting employees back to work and looming unemployment tax increases possibly into triple-digits thanks to having to pay interest on a $1 billion loan from the federal government due to the state’s unemployment trust fund becoming insolvent.

“Add to all that delays in needed supplies thanks to a truck driver shortage and the need to pay entry level workers above minimum wage just to get them to take an unskilled job. What we are seeing are small-business owners holding firm to their commitment to provide for the wellbeing of their family, their community, and future generations to follow. When you walk into a small business, take time to thank the owner for his or her efforts, and remember, for every dollar spent in a local small business, seventy cents remain in the community.”

From NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg

“Small business owners are losing confidence in the strength of the economy and expect a slowdown in job creation. As owners look for qualified workers, they are also reporting that supply chain disruptions are having an impact on their businesses. Ultimately, owners could sell more if they could acquire more supplies and inventories from their supply chains.”

From NFIB’s National News Release

The Optimism Index decreased in July to 99.7, a decrease of 2.8 points, reversing June’s 2.9-point gain. Six of the 10 components declined, three improved, and one was unchanged. Other key findings include:

  • Sales expectations over the next three months decreased 11 points to a net negative 4% of owners.
  • Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months decreased eight points to a net negative 20%.
  • Earnings trends over the past three months decreased eight points to a net negative 13%.

About the Small Business Economic Trends (SBET) report

The NFIB Research Center has collected Small Business Economic Trends data with quarterly surveys since the 4th quarter of 1973 and monthly surveys since 1986. Survey respondents are drawn from a random sample of NFIB’s membership. The report is released on the second Tuesday of each month. Today’s survey was conducted in July 2021.

The SBET’s primary value is anticipating short-run fluctuations in economic activity. An additional value of the SBET is its measurement of small business activities and concerns over time. The benefit of a longitudinal data set offers an invaluable perspective on how policies and business cycles impact small businesses over time. The SBET is one of the few archival data sets on small business, particularly when research questions address business operations rather than opinions. Today, it’s the largest, longest-running data set on small business economic conditions available.

Contact: Tony Gagliardi, Colorado State Director, [email protected],
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager, [email protected]

Keep up with the latest Colorado small-business news at or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_CO or on Facebook @NFIB.CO


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 Colorado
1700 Lincoln Street, 17th Floor
Denver, CO 80203
Twitter: @NFIB_CO
Facebook: NFIB.CO

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