Local Comment on November's Small Business Economic Trends Report

Date: November 09, 2021

Main Street entrepreneurs are not very optimistic

OLYMPIA, Wash., Nov. 9, 2021—From Patrick Connor, Washington state director for the National Federation of Independent Business on today’s release of NFIB’s monthly Small Business Economic Trends (SBET) report, America’s bellwether measurement of the Main Street economy.

“It’s little wonder small business optimism has fallen to its lowest level since 2012. Washington D.C. is once again pushing the same, tired, job-killing, Obama-era anti-business tax and regulatory policies it did a decade ago. 

“With an ongoing pandemic, historic workforce shortages, crippling supply chain disruptions, and staggering inflationary increases, small businesses are facing long odds to simply survive another year. News from D.C. makes that struggle all the more difficult. 

“Worse yet, Washington state’s small businesses are also grappling with looming unemployment, workers’ compensation, and paid family and medical leave tax increases, substantially higher overtime-exempt salary thresholds, and the imposition of a new long-term care payroll tax launching in January. 

“Small Business Saturday is the thinnest of silver linings an otherwise downtrodden Main Street has to look forward to this month.”

Sixty-four percent of NFIB members have between zero and nine employees.

From NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg

“Small business owners are attempting to take advantage of current economic growth but remain pessimistic about business conditions in the near future. One of the biggest problems for small businesses is the lack of workers for unfilled positions and inventory shortages, which will continue to be a problem during the holiday season.

“Adding to the muddle, Washington is having trouble putting its economic policies into place. Spending and tax policies are still up in the air, while debt ceiling problems loom larger each day. The Federal Reserve is also scrambling to reset policies to deal with growth and inflation numbers it had not expected.”

More comment is available on Page 3 of the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends report.

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 October 2021. NFIB’s SBET and Jobs Report are national snapshots not broken down by state.

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: Patrick Connor, Washington State Director, [email protected]
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager, [email protected]

Keep up with the latest Washington state small-business news at www.nfib.com/washington or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_WA or on Facebook @NFIB.WA


For more than 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 our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.

NFIB Washington
Suite 505
711 Capitol Way South
Olympia, WA 98501
Twitter: @NFIB_WA

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