Trade wars and tariffs may be roiling Wall Street but businesses along Main Street, America, continue to power our prosperity, according to NFIB’s latest Small Business Economic Trends report released this morning.

I’m worried less about external forces hindering this great economy than I am about the internal threats emanating from state capitols across the nation, such as ours.

The remaining month of the Legislature’s 2019 session is one of the most important months in my three decades of work in Sacramento. 

It simply must end with some clarity for millions of independent contractors in California. The Legislature must also not ban arbitration agreements; it must prevent attorneys from misusing the California Internet Privacy Act as a revenue trough of small-business lawsuits; and it must not spring a sales tax on services on us—just to name four things that have small businesses up at night. 

CNBC has just ranked us 32nd for business climate. The Tax Foundation has us at 49th and Chief Executive ranked us dead last. And it can’t help we have the second-highest gas taxes in the nation, which rose 5.6 cents a gallon last month and will do so every future July thanks to the 2017 passage of Senate Bill 1. We simply must stop harming ourselves.

The NFIB Research Center has collected Small Business Economic Trends data since 1986. Survey respondents are drawn from NFIB’s membership. The SBET is one of the few archival data sets on small business, particularly when research questions address business operations rather than opinions. Today, it’s the largest, longest-running data set on small business economic conditions available, used by the Federal Reserve, presidential administrations, Congress, and governors and state legislatures across the nation as the gold standard measurement on the economic health of Main Street enterprises. The report is released on the second Tuesday of each month. Today’s survey was conducted in July 2019.

From NFIB’s National News Release

“While many are talking about a slowing economy and possible signs of a recession, the 3rd largest economy in the world continues to defy expectations, generating output, creating value, and expanding the economy,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan. “Small business owners want to grow their operations, and the only thing stopping them is finding qualified workers.”

Added NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg, “Contrary to the narrative about impending economic doom, the small business sector remains exceptional. This month’s index is a confirmation that small business owners remain very optimistic about the economy but are being hamstrung by not finding the workers they need.”