Nevada Comment on Today’s Dismal Small Business Optimism Readings

Date: February 09, 2021

Could missing candlelit dinners this Valentine’s Day be state’s uniquely contributing metric?

Contact: Randi Thompson Nevada State Director, [email protected]
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager, [email protected]

CARSON CITY, Nev., Feb. 9, 2021—Today’s release of the monthly Small Busines Economic Trends report, also known as the Optimism Index, doesn’t show much optimism among the nation’s Main Street entrepreneurs, and the Nevada state director for the association that conducts the national bellwether surveys wondered if the Silver State might have a uniquely home-grown metric of its own highlighting the problem.

“This Valentine’s Day, only 25% of couples will be able to enjoy a romantic dinner out, thanks to Gov. Steve Sisolak’s current restaurant restrictions,” said Randi Thompson, Nevada state director for NFIB, the nation’s leading small-business association. Restaurants are one of many small businesses in Nevada still struggling under the governor’s now 11-month lockdown edict.

“When will these draconian measures end? Over 15% of small business owners say they will be closed in six months if the current economic conditions persist. Washoe and Clark counties have both seen a steady decline in positive cases of COVID-19, a decline in hospitalizations, and a decline in deaths since the first of the year. Close to 500,000 vaccine doses have been administered. The positive trends are an indication that Nevadans are doing their part to control the spread. Now, it’s time to let businesses, and especially restaurants, open to at least 50% and let Nevadans get back to work.”

The Optimism Index declined in January to 95.0, down 0.9 from December and three points below the 47-year average of 98. Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months declined seven points to a net negative 23%, the lowest level since November 2013. The net percent of owners expecting better business conditions has fallen 55 points over the past four months.

From NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg

“As Congress debates another stimulus package, small employers welcome any additional relief that will provide a powerful fiscal boost as their expectations for the future are uncertain. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to dictate how small businesses operate and owners are worried about future business conditions and sales.”

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.

Keep up with the latest Nevada small-business news at or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_NV.


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

NFIB Nevada
12575 Overbrook Dr.
Reno, NV 89511
Twitter: @NFIB_NV

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