Small business owners are optimistic right now, according to the National Federation of Independent Business Index of Small Business Optimism Index. The NFIB issued a press release about the results, which showed business owners are more optimistic than they’ve been since the 1980s. WIBW, a Topeka television, jumped to cover the stellar news.
The optimism index is at its highest point since President Ronald Reagan was in office, Dan Murray, a lobbyist for the NFIB in Kansas told the station.
“It’s near the record set nearly 34 years ago,” Murray said. It’s been this high only one other time in the 44 years we’ve been doing this. The tone out of Washington is sending strong signals to our members and small business owners across the country. I’m certainly hearing that when I visit with members here in Kansas.”
The NFIB chief economist, Bill Dunkelberg, attributed to the shift to new leadership in the nation’s Capitol.
“The change in the management team in Washington has dramatically improved expectations,” he said. He said NFIB members anticipate additional upticks in economic growth.
“This is a dramatically different picture than owners presented during the weak 2009-16 recovery,” Dunkelberg said in the NFIB press release.
WIBW’s reporter wrote that proposed changes to the tax code are driving optimism in Kansas. The challenge for Kansas small business owners now is finding skilled workers for available jobs, Murray told the station. Kansas unemployment is below 4 percent.
Nationwide, small business owners said finding skilled workers was their second biggest challenge, followed only by taxes.
“As long as Congress and the President follow through on tax reform, 2018 is shaping up to be a great year for small business, workers, and the economy,” NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan said.