Colorado Comment on Today’s Historic Drop in Optimism

Date: January 12, 2021

Small-business owners expecting improved conditions in next six months fell 24 points

DENVER, Jan. 12, 2021—In response to today’s release of NFIB’s monthly Small Business Economic Trends (SBET) report, also known as the Optimism Index, the Colorado state director for the association called on the Colorado General Assembly to start sending some strong messages on what it could do to help reverse the historically dismal numbers and suggested where it could start.

“This latest report shows Main Street has slipped into a near comatose state,” said Tony Gagliardi, Colorado state director for NFIB, which produces the monthly Optimism Index, a national snapshot not broken down by state. “The hope is gone for many owners. Another round of PPP loans could certainly help, but so too would some certainty of protection from frivolous lawsuits. When businesses follow guidelines imposed by government officials designed to protect the employees and the public, those same officials should not leave these businesses exposed to further damage caused by frivolous lawsuits.”

Today’s SBET found nine of the 10 Optimism Index components declined and only one improved. Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months declined 24 points to a net negative 16%.

From NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg

“This month’s drop in small business optimism is historically very large, and most of the decline was due to the outlook of sales and business conditions in 2021. Small businesses are concerned about potential new economic policy in the new administration and the increased spread of COVID-19 that is causing renewed government-mandated business closures across the nation.”

About the Small Business Economic Trends (SBET)

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. This survey was conducted in December 2020. For more information about NFIB, please visit

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, 303-325-6243, [email protected],
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager, 415-640-5156, [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 more than 77 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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