Troubling Poll Shows Continued Drop in Small Business Optimism

Date: February 09, 2021

Colorado legislators, governor can take an immediate step to help slow, reverse the sinking

DENVER, Feb. 9, 2021—Release of today’s monthly Small Business Economic Trends report, also known as the Optimism Index, showing a continued slide in the number of Main Street entrepreneurs expecting better business conditions brought an immediate suggestion from the Colorado state director for the association that conducts the poll.

“This report was not the news we were hoping for,” said NFIB’s Colorado State Director Tony Gagliardi. “Not only are hopes for economic survivability fading but Gov. Jared Polis still has not spoken out on the need for liability protection for Colorado’s small businesses. While NFIB members commend the governor for loosening restrictions on small restaurants, liability reform must be placed on the front burner. No stimulus package is going to protect a small business from being put out of business permanently because of one fictitious lawsuit.”

The Optimism Index declined in January to 95.0, down 0.9 from December and three points below the 47-year average of 98. Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months declined seven points to a net negative 23%, the lowest level since November 2013. The net percent of owners expecting better business conditions has fallen 55 points over the past four months.

From NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg

“As Congress debates another stimulus package, small employers welcome any additional relief that will provide a powerful fiscal boost as their expectations for the future are uncertain. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to dictate how small businesses operate and owners are worried about future business conditions and sales.”

About the Small Business Economic Trends (SBET)

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. This survey was conducted in December 2020. For more information about NFIB, please visit NFIB.com.

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.

Contact: Tony Gagliardi, Colorado State Director, tony.gagliardi@nfib.org,
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager, anthony.malandra@nfib.org

Keep up with the latest Colorado small-business news at www.nfib.com/colorado or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_CO or on Facebook @NFIB.CO

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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 nfib.com.

NFIB Colorado
1700 Lincoln Street, 17th Floor
Denver, CO 80203
303-860-1778
www.nfib.com/colorado
Twitter: @NFIB_CO
Facebook: NFIB.CO

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