Governor’s Actions Will Help Reverse Troubling National Trends

Date: May 12, 2021

Big week of small-business news as ALEC, NFIB release poll and study on the economy

Contact: Suzanne Budge, Idaho State Director, [email protected]
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager, [email protected]

BOISE, Idaho, May 12, 2021—Yesterday’s announcement by Gov. Brad Little that he is ending the state’s participation in three federal pandemic unemployment compensation programs, combined with Monday’s signing of House Bill 380 into law, come right on the heels of today’s release of the latest Rich States, Poor States report from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and yesterday’s release of the latest Small Business Economic Trends report from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

***Idaho Small-Business Owners Speak Out on Job Openings. See Below***

“Idaho’s slippage to 11th best in the nation for economic outlook in the 2021 ALEC Rich States, Poor States report from third best last year was probably due to its poor rankings in its ‘personal income tax progressivity’ (36) and ‘top marginal personal income tax rate’ (33) categories,” said Suzanne Budge, Idaho state director for NFIB. “So, Governor Little’s signing of HB 380 this week, providing state income tax relief, will ameliorate that and, over time, should improve our numbers in future Rich State, Poor States reports.”

Equally important, according to Budge, is the governor’s announcement that it is ending the coupling of federal unemployment benefits with the state’s, because they have combined to create a perverse situation of making staying at home more financially rewarding than getting back to work.

“Are generous UI benefits the only reason small-business jobs are going begging?” asked Budge rhetorically. “No, but they are a huge and unavoidable reason, so we commend the governor for taking the bold step necessary to cure this. Montana’s governor did the same last week.”

Yesterday’s release of the latest Small Business Economic Trends report (aka the Optimism Index) showed small-business owners’ outlook improving once again but the nagging worry of finding qualified employees still a top concern.

Idaho Small Business Owners Speak Out on Job Openings

  • “It’s going to continue to be difficult finding employees when the private sector is competing with a second government funded ‘mailbox’ economy.”
    • Pam Nelson, Northwest Foam Products, Twin Falls, ID
  • “I recently began a search for a new employee by putting an ad in several job posting sites. In past years, when I have done this, I have been bombarded with applicants. This time around, almost nothing. I can’t help but think it has something to do with the fed handing out money like it’s candy. I support the governor’s plan to withdraw from the fed’s UI stimulus funds.”
    • Stan Armstrong, Hartley Insurance, Boise, ID
  • “The current labor shortage in Idaho has created significant challenges for our businesses. So many employees in our industry have left the workforce and we aren’t sure when or if they will come back.  Workers seem to chase money whether it is from the government or other employers that keep raising wages.  We work hard to be an outstanding employee-centered business and we compensate our people well. But, the current environment is making it difficult to run operations smoothly. We have had to turn down lots of business because we don’t have the people to deliver services and I fear that if not dealt with, there will be lasting effects. I applaud Governor Little for his leadership and continued pro-business stance.”
    • Stephanie Camarillo, Molly Maid, Meridian, ID
  • “As it is now in the service industry, we are finding it impossible to find any employees.  Keeping our current employees is also becoming more and more difficult. We are very reluctant to take on any new accounts simply due to the fact that we cannot staff them, especially when we can’t keep our current accounts fully staffed. As you know, if a business doesn’t grow, it dies! Thank you to the Governor for recognizing this and taking action!”
    • Richard Burrell, ServiceMaster, Boise, ID

Keep up with the latest on Idaho small business at


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

National Federation of Independent Business/Idaho
802 W. Bannock, Ste. 301
Boise, ID 83702
Twitter: NFIB_ID


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