Idaho Comment on the Latest Small Business Poll  

Date: January 10, 2024

Main Street entrepreneurs are hearing a Tale of Two Governments

Contact: Suzanne Budge, Idaho State Director, [email protected]  
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager, [email protected]  

BOISE, Idaho, Jan. 10, 2024—The State-of-the-State speech delivered by Gov. Brad Little this week provided a nice counterbalance to yesterday’s release of the National Federation of Independent Business’ (NFIB) monthly Small Business Optimism Index, showing small business owners starting out 2024 with an unhealthy pessimism that it will not be good year.  

 “The governor’s speech was one of optimism and accomplishment,” said Suzanne Budge, Idaho state director for NFIB. “You would be hard-pressed to find something similar coming out of Washington, D.C. We’ve had three years of income tax cuts, property tax relief, and the least regulations of any state in the nation. This bodes well for 2024, until you factor in the federal government’s handiwork, which includes saddling small businesses with a new compliance headache called the Beneficial Ownership Reporting Rule” 

 The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a final rule that sets forth beneficial ownership information reporting requirements as mandated by the Corporate Transparency Act, according to this NFIB-provided fact sheet. The rule, effective January 1, 2024, affects a broad spectrum of businesses (virtually all LLCs, corporations, and entities formed under state or tribal laws with 20 or fewer employees and $5 million or less in gross annual receipts), and requires them to begin filing periodic reports on their beneficial owners to FinCEN. 

 “As the governor said in his speech, ‘In Idaho, we live within our means. We deliver tax relief while making meaningful investments, we maintain a balanced budget, and we keep responsible amounts in reserve. If Idaho can do it, Washington, D.C., SHOULD do it.’ In the meantime, as today’s Index underscores, small businesses will have to cope through 2024.” 

Today’s Index showed 23% percent of small business owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem in operating their business, up one point from last month, and replacing labor quality as the top concern, according to the latest Optimism Index report. Other key findings include: 

  • Small business owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months increased six points from November to a net negative 36% (seasonally adjusted), and 25 percentage points better than last June’s reading of a net negative 61%.
  • Seasonally adjusted, a net 29% of owners plan to raise compensation in the next three months, down one point from November.
  • The net percent of owners raising average selling prices was unchanged from November at a net 25% (seasonally adjusted).
  • The net percent of owners who expect real sales to be higher increased four points from November to a net negative 4% (seasonally adjusted), the highest reading since January 2022. 

“Small business owners remain very pessimistic about economic prospects this year,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Inflation and labor quality have consistently been a tough complication for small business owners, and they are not convinced that it will get better in 2024.” 

The SBET/Optimism Index is a national snapshot not broken down by state. The typical NFIB member employs 5-9 people and reports gross sales of about $500,000 a year. Keep up with the latest Idaho small-business news at and on Twitter @NFIB_ID  


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 Idaho  
802 W. Bannock Ste. 301  
Boise, ID 83702  
Twitter: @NFIB_ID  




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