'When you're riding really slowly on a bicycle, it's easy to fall over'

The latest Small Business Optimism Index from the National Federation of Independent Business doesn't make for joyous reading. Small firm owners are growing more negative about most parts of their businesses and NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg says they don't see D.C. helping at all. In an interview with Bloomberg Radio, he says the recovery is as shaky as ever: "When you're riding really slowly on a bicycle, it's easy to fall over."

Apr 11, 2012 9:32 AM

Tennessee's self-employment numbers surge

Office of Advocacy releases annual study; NFIB official weighs in
Jan 27, 2012 7:00 AM

Small biz gets a little more positive

The National Federation of Independent Business' latest survey of business owners shows a small improvement in how they expect the economy to behave in six months, although their collective sentiment is still negative.

"There is no exuberance in spending, as consumers ‘make do’ rather than spend their increased savings in upgrades or new purchases. It’s that extra spending that would provide small business owners a reason to hire and order more inventory, the best stimulus we could have. But confidence is the key and right now there isn’t much."

Nov 9, 2011 7:20 AM

No real upturn yet in NIFB survey

The latest survey of small-company owners by the National Federation of Independent Business shows a small improvement in a number of key indicators, but not enough to turn the overall tide.

The key to economic recovery is restoring the confidence of consumers; only then will small businesses begin to see the sales they need to expand. If consumers fear the path we are on, then ‘less is more’ policies that reduce the size of government will increase confidence.

Oct 11, 2011 12:47 PM

Small biz owners kinda saw all this coming

Belmont entrepreneurship professor Jeff Cornwall comments on the latest NFIB sentiment survey, which fell in July for the fifth straight month and is now below its two-year average, and has a pointed opinion about the role of government from here on out.

That is the wrong question to frame the debate. It is what the government has done over the past two administrations that has magnified the problems in our economy.

Governments cannot create a sustained economic expansion through spending and monetary policy. Businesses and their customers do that.  Stop bleeding them of their money and get out of their way.

Aug 9, 2011 1:15 PM

Jobs, but...

Mish passes on details of the latest employment report from TrimTabs, which on the face of it is a positive one. But below the top-line improvement is cause for continued concern: Real wages fell by 2 percent in June. Meanwhile, Jeff Cornwall points to stats that show small businesses still aren't ramping up their hiring pace.

Jul 7, 2011 12:29 PM

NFIB warns of government audits

The National Federation of Independent Businesses is warning members that they could be audited to determine if they've hired illegal immigrants.

WPLN reports that 30 Tennessee businesses were audited by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last year, most of them government contractors. But a spokeswoman for the NFIB in Tennessee said the scope and timing of the investigations this year are unknown. Click here for the full story.

Jun 24, 2011 9:29 AM

Small business optimism declines

The National Federation of Independent Business' Index of Small Business Optimism fell 0.3 points in May to 90.9, making May the third straight month where the index has fallen. According to the organization, about 13 percent of companies plan to increase employment (down 3 points) and 8 percent plan to reduce their workforce (up 2 points) in the next three months.

Click here for the graphs.

Jun 15, 2011 9:14 AM

'Inconsistent and disappointing'

Those are the two words NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg used last week to sum up the state of small-business hiring. Only one in six small companies — traditionally an engine for post-recession employment growth — plans to add jobs in the next six months.

May 9, 2011 9:28 AM

NFIB chimes in on gas prices, drilling

The state's largest small-business association went on the record yesterday about the rise in gasoline prices, saying Tennessee's Congressional delegation should support legislation to restart and expand offshore oil and natural gas drilling and improve the supply-demand equation.

Jim Brown, Tennessee state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said the $1.01 year-over-year increase in the price of a gallon of gas is " taking a big toll on small businesses."

“Small businesses operate on thin profit margins even in the best of times, and these aren’t the best of times,” he said.

“If you’re a small business owner, you’re paying more for supplies and inventory and more on transportation,” Brown said. “You have a choice: Jack up prices and risk driving your customers away, or absorb the increase and lose money […] A dependable source of affordable oil would help our businesses grow and create jobs and finally put this recession in our rearview mirrors.”

May 5, 2011 7:34 AM