By Terri Jo Neff |
The number of small business owners across America who expect business conditions to improve over the next six months dropped considerably in June, hitting the lowest level in the 48 years the National Federation of Independent Business has conducted the survey.
That was the dismal news released Tuesday by Chad Heinrich, NFIB’s state director for Arizona.
“With small-business-owner expectations dimming to a record low, it becomes even more important that we have state leaders focused on ways to improve business conditions for the small-business owner,” Heinrich said. “All Arizonans have benefited from state legislative and executive leaders who have adopted pro-small-business policies year-after-year.”
Heinrich’s statement drew attention to the NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index for June which showed a drop for the sixth consecutive month. That means the expectations of small business owners for better conditions have worsened every month of 2022.
NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg also addressed the pessimistic news revealed by the Small Business Optimism Index.
“On top of the immediate challenges facing small business owners including inflation and worker shortages, the outlook for economic policy is not encouraging either as policy talks have shifted to tax increases and more regulations,” Dunkelberg said.
Among the key findings in Tuesday’s report is that 50 percent of small business owners reported job openings that could not be filled, a historically “very high” rating. Of those hiring or trying to hire, 94 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill.
Even one bit of good news in Tuesday’s report wasn’t all that positive. According to NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index, the net percent of owners raising their average selling prices decreased three points. However, the decrease comes after May’s record high reporting of price increases.
Heinrich advised that Arizonans cannot rest on the successes that have kept the state at or near the top of post-pandemic economic gains.
“We must continue to support leaders who understand that most new jobs are created by small business owners,” he said. “Small businesses drive the Arizona economy forward.”
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 randomly drawn from NFIB’s membership.