Comment on Slight Improvement in Small Business Optimism

Date: July 13, 2021

Governor’s initiatives will start to help brighten economic picture, says NFIB Montana

Contact: Ronda Wiggers, Montana State Director, [email protected]
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager, [email protected]

HELENA, Mont., July 13, 2021—Today’s release of NFIB’s monthly small business Optimism Index shows signs of a slightly stirring economy but not enough of one to predict if it’s the kickoff of a trend, said the Montana state director for the association that conducts the 48-year-old poll.

“The results from this month’s Optimism Index are slightly better than last month’s,” said Ronda Wiggers, Montana state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), which conducts the monthly Small Business Economic Trends report, also known as the Optimism Index. “They are national snapshots not broken down by state, so they can only measure so much. But I do believe the initiatives Gov. Greg Gianforte put in place will eventually prove to have a positive effect on small business growth and hiring in Montana, especially his ending of the federal unemployment insurance supplement that made staying at home more rewarding than going back to work. No one should expect any government policy to work like a light switch. The extra UI benefits are ending just this week, so it will take some time to see how well they worked at getting people back to work.”

From NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg

“Small businesses optimism is rising as the economy opens up, yet a record number of employers continue to report that there are few or no qualified applicants for open positions. Owners are also having a hard time keeping their inventory stocks up with strong sales and supply chain problems.”

Key findings include:

  • Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months rose 14 points to a net negative 12%, an improvement but still in very negative territory.
  • Earnings trends over the past three months improved six points to a net negative 5%.
  • The net percent of owners raising average selling prices increased seven points to a net 47% (seasonally adjusted), the highest reading since January 1981.

Note to Reporters

Today’s Optimism Index follows on the heels of yesterday’s latest COVID-19 poll of NFIB ‘s small-business owning membership. Jump to Question 20 and on to see how small-business owners are dealing with staffing shortages.

Keep up with the latest on Montana small business at


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

National Federation of Independent Business/Montana
491 South Park Ave.
Helena, MT 59601
Twitter: @NFIB_MT


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