Small businesses across the nation have received some encouraging news from the National Federation of Independent Businesses. This continues a trend in small business optimism that has been growing over that past couple of months.
Optimism for small businesses has continued to increase for a third consecutive month. The index, measured by the NFIB, has increased another 1.8 points. This new index is still well below the market predictions set at the beginning of year as well as the pre-recession average levels. However, even this minimal gain is a good sign for small businesses.
The NFIB’s Chief Economist, Bill Dunkelberg says: “We have good reason to be optimistic about last month’s report and hopeful about what it will mean for the future.” The more significant gains were in sales expectations gains and outlooks for business conditions. Ending a five-month slide, employment also jumped last month. Many small businesses look to the NFIB for trends and the current signs and trends point in a positive direction.
Recently, the NFIB has been involved in the debate behind the “free choice option”. This is the option for small business owners to give employees a fixed amount of pre-tax dollars to spend on health insurance. That would enable employees to survey the market and pick the plan that best supports their needs.
According to NFIB CEO Dan Danner, “When we surveyed our membership on the best approach to controlling health care costs, the most popular answer was, ‘individuals shopping for health care and health insurance;’ the free-choice option perfectly fits this bill.” Giving assistance to the NFIB were Senator Ron Wyden and Congressman Paul Ryan. Both were praised by the NFIB for the efforts.
The NFIB, if you are unfamiliar, is the largest lobbying organization for small businesses. The basic focus of the NFIB is the impact of proposed legislation on small businesses. The group has been known to support several issues, including tort reform and affordable health insurance plans for small businesses.
The home office of the NFIB is located in Nashville, Tennessee; however, the organization has offices in the capitals of all 50 states. Although membership has been declining with the non-partisan group the opinions and data that they provide is valued by small business across the country. The NFIB is known to keep a large network of business activists, and sends their views directly to state and federal lawmakers.
The just-released positive outlook for small business optimism and the progress with the “free-choice option” shows the NFIB is very much involved in the trends of small businesses. This is great news for small business owners, who often feel as though they are on their own as far as political issues. The upbeat news by NFIB should give a spark to business owners across the country.