Small business optimism dipped in June, according to the National Federation for Independent Business. State director Dawn Starns says they saw increased optimism at the beginning of the year entering the new administration, but that has since dwindled due to gridlock in Congress.
She blames the uncertainty surrounding the federal healthcare bill.
“They don’t have the opportunity right now to offer benefits to their employees like they used to, and the rising cost of healthcare is really hitting their bottom line so hard,” Starns said.
That’s why job openings and job creation plans saw declines in the NFIB’s monthly Index of Small Business Optimism. Expectations for better business conditions and expected sales also dropped. Starns says businesses can’t plan for the future because of all the uncertainty on the federal level.
“So that’s why we’re seeing the dip. We’re hopeful that Congress will come back from the recess and they’ll start to take some action and we’ll see some improvement as we move into the rest of the year,” Starns said.
On the positive side, the index found an uptick in inventory satisfaction among small businesses, as well as plans to increase inventory. Starns says that’s a promising sign.
“Whenever retailers are increasing their inventory, that means they’re hoping people will be coming in to buy and purchase, especially as we move into this latter part of the year,” Starns said.