Small business optimism across the country is down, according to the latest National Federation of Independent Businesses Small Business Optimism Index released Tuesday.
“More of them are seeing the glass as kind of half empty, a little more pessimistic than they were a month or two ago,” NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said.
NFIB says business optimism is actually the lowest it has been in two years. When reviewing optimism levels over the past 40 years, Dunkelberg told WMAY Springfield it has been slow going since the end of the Great Recession in 2009 compared with optimism recovering from other recessions.
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“So it’s been a very, very weak recovery,” Dunkelberg said.
Meanwhile, government plays a direct role in the optimism levels of small business and Illinois is a prime example, according to NFIB.
What compounds the issue in Illinois, Dunkelberg said, is the growing public sector debt taxpayers are on the hook for, fostering uncertainty.
“They don’t see how we can get improvements in the regulatory structure or tax code or these kinds of things when preoccupied even with the debt problems that we’ve had,” Dunkelberg said.
Driving the optimism outlook are a variety of factors, including uncertainty in the cost of energy, tax codes and the cost of regulations, all things Dunkelberg said are driven by governments.
NFIB hosted the 2016 Employer Action Day Tuesday in Springfield with Gov. Bruce Rauner as the keynote speaker. Rauner talked about structural reforms for Illinois he says will help grow the economy.