The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)’s long-running “Small Business Optimism Index” fell 1.8 points to 98.8 in July. Small business owners continued to temper their expectations of future economic conditions as the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to continue.
“This summer has been challenging for many small business owners who are working hard to keep their doors open and remain in business,” said NFIB’s Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Small business represents nearly half of the GDP and this month we saw a dip in optimism. There is still plenty of work to be done to get businesses back to pre-crisis numbers.”
Key findings in July’s small business owner index
18% | Job creation plans increased two points to a net 18%.
5% | Five percent acquired new buildings or land for expansion
10% | Spent money for new fixtures and furniture.
26% | Planning capital outlays in the next few months.
“Even with states reopening, sales are often lower due to business restrictions, social distancing requirements, and a still-reduced willingness of consumers to go out and mingle with the general population.”
A net 15% of the owners surveyed reported raising compensation (seasonally adjusted), remaining well below the 36% reading in February before COVID-19 policies were implemented in March. A net 13% plan to do so in the coming