Golden anniversary of SBET finds Main Street entrepreneurs in no mood for celebration
Honolulu, Nov. 14, 2023—Today’s release of NFIB’s monthly Small Business Economic Trends (SBET) report is the 50th anniversary issue, but it is not finding small business owners in a mood for celebration.
“This month marks the 50th anniversary of NFIB’s small business economic survey,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “The October data shows that small businesses are still recovering, and owners are not optimistic about better business conditions. Small business owners are not growing their inventories as labor and energy costs are not falling, making it a gloomy outlook for the remainder of the year.”
Added Michael Iosua, Hawaii state director for NFIB, “Given tough circumstances small businesses have endured this year, we hope that the State will be careful to avoid any further negative impacts next legislative session. More importantly, however, Congress needs to make the Small Business Deduction permanent and not let it expire, which it’s scheduled to in 2025.”
Key findings from today’s SBET include:
- Twenty-two percent of owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem in operating their business, down one point from last month.
- Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months was unchanged from September at a net negative 43% (seasonally adjusted).
- Forty-three percent (seasonally adjusted) of owners reported job openings that were hard to fill, unchanged from September and remains historically very high.
- Seasonally adjusted, a net 24% plan to raise compensation in the next three months, up one point from September.
“Today, in the full maturity of its 50 years,” according to this one-page history of it, “NFIB’s monthly Small Business Economic Trends (SBET) report is the gold standard measurement of America’s small business economy. Used by the Federal Reserve, Congressional leaders, administration officials, and state legislatures across the nation, it’s regarded as the bellwether on the health and welfare of the Main Street enterprises that employ half of all workers, generate more net new jobs than large corporations, and gave most of us the first start in our working life.” The SBET (Optimism Index) is a national snapshot of NFIB-member, small-business owners not broken down by state. The typical NFIB member employs 10 people and reports gross sales of about $500,000 a year.
Keep up with the latest on Hawaii small-business news at www.nfib.com/hawaii or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_HI.
For 80 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 nfib.com.
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