Sep 29, 2018

Small Business Optimism Reaches a Record High

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is a big deal. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, it’s the largest small business association in the United States and has offices in all 50 state capitals.

Since 1973, the NFIB has been conducting quarterly surveys within its membership. In 1986, the organization bumped things up a notch and started doing these surveys monthly. So when the NFIB announces that the Small Business Optimism Index has reached the highest level in the 45-year history of the survey, you know it’s not just hyperbole. Something substantial really is going on.

As reported by CNBC, the Small Business Optimism Index reached 108.8 in August, which beats the prior record of 108 set back in 1983 (the second year of Ronald Reagan’s presidency). This recent record is attributed to the tax cuts and deregulation efforts of President Trump and the Republican-led Congress. The business-friendly environment has led to increased sales, hiring, and investment.

As survey authors William Dunkelberg and Holly Wade put it, “The small business engine continues to roar with the dramatic change in economic policies since November 2016.”

“Today’s groundbreaking numbers are demonstrative of what I’m hearing everyday from small business owners – that business is booming,” added NFIB President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan, in a press release. “As the tax and regulatory landscape changed, so did small business expectations and plans.”

As part of the survey, the NFIB observed record highs for job creation plans and the amount of owners reporting that it was a prime time to expand. On top of that, capital spending plans reached the highest levels since 2007.

Of course, small business plans can be notoriously fickle. For example, one survey showed that 25% of small business owners planned to create a business app last year.

In reality, however, only a small fraction followed through.

With this kind of sustained momentum, however, things are different. Business plans are being put into action around the country, and the results are unmistakable.

“We’re now seeing the tangible results of those plans as small businesses report historically high, some record breaking, levels of increased sales, investment, earnings, and hiring,” said Duggan.

With so many small business owners reporting that it’s a great time to expand, the future is definitely bright for America’s small businesses. As noted by Bloomberg, this is more than just impressive, it’s unexpected. The numbers from the NFIB’s August survey exceeded projections and showed that America’s small businesses truly are firing on all cylinders.

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About the author

Grant Olsen
Grant Olsen is a writer specializing in small business loans, leadership skills, and growth strategies. He is a contributing writer for KSL 5 TV, where his articles have generated more than 6 million page views, and has been featured on and Grant is also the author of the book "Rhino Trouble." He has a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University.

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