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NFIB Weekly News

NFIB Weekly News Leading the News

Optimism Index “Returning To Normal Levels As Owners Express Uncertainty About The Future.” (02/12/2019)

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for January was 101.2, slipping 3.2 points since December. Business owners continued hiring and investing, but expressed increasing concern about future economic growth. The reading was the lowest since the weeks leading up to the 2016 elections. Though it remains well above the historical average of 98, it indicates uncertainty among small business owners due to the 35-day government shutdown and financial market instability. NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan was quoted saying, “Business operations are still very strong, but small business owners’ expectations about the future are shaky...One thing small businesses make clear to us is their dislike for uncertainty, and while they are continuing to create jobs and increase compensation at a frenetic pace, the political climate is affecting how they view the future.”

Business Climate

Media Analyses: Trump Benefits From Strong Economy, But Potential Perils Loom. (02/12/2019)

The AP (2/5, Rugaber) reported before President Trump’s State of the Union address that he was set to “enjoy the backdrop of a mostly solid economy” as he delivered the speech, though strong jobs numbers “haven’t fully erased concerns about an array of headwinds facing the U.S. economy this year.” Among the “challenges” cited by the AP are the US-China “trade war,” rising mortgage rates, the impact of the recent government shutdown, and slowing growth abroad.

Small Business Marketing

Small Business Cards Open To Wide Array Of Entrepreneurs. (02/12/2019)

Nerd Wallet (2/8) took a look at who is eligible for small business credit cards, which are available to a range of people. According to the article, “You don’t need to operate an LLC or a corporation to count as a “business” for credit card application purposes. Sole proprietors can also apply for a small-business credit card. That means anyone from the owner of a company to a freelancer working from home can be considered business operators.”

Wages and Benefits

House Holds Hearing On New Minimum Wage Bill. (02/12/2019)

Vox (2/8) reported that the House Committee on Education and Labor had Congress’ first hearing on the Raise the Wage Act this past Thursday. The act, if passed, “would eventually double the federal minimum wage by 2024.” The bill currently has over 190 sponsors, and would tie the minimum wage to median worker pay “so if middle-class wages go up — or down — so does the minimum wage.” It also would do away with lower minimum wages for tipped workers.

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