Main Street enterprises not optimistic about the future
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Nov. 9, 2021—From Barbara Quandt, acting Utah 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.
“We don’t want to put a damper on last week’s improving employment picture put out by the U.S. Dept. of Labor, but we are finding the Main Streets of America far from fully recovering. Our latest Jobs Report, also put out last week, is still finding record highs in unfilled job openings despite a record high in pay being offered, and the most troubling finding in today’s SBET, for me, is that small-business owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months fell four points to a net negative 37%—a decline of 17 points over the past three months to its lowest level since November 2012.
“One reason for the national malaise smaller businesses are having is the impact supply-chain disruptions are having, which we measured the severity of in our last COVID-19 poll of our small-business-owning membership. Our research data are national snapshots not broken down by state, but I think it fair to say Utah is doing better than most states because of the pro-small-business policies it put in place—a success it would be nice to see Congress borrow from instead of threatening mom-and-pop enterprises with higher federal taxes and more regulations.”
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.
Keep up with the latest on Utah small-business news at www.nfib.com/utah.
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 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.
Salt Lake City, UT