Small business optimism has plummeted to one of its lowest levels in history, according to a nationwide study by the National Federation for Independent Business (NFIB).

NFIB’s small business optimism index dropped by 5.6 points to 87.5 in November 2012. It was a stunning development. The consensus forecast by most economists was 92.5.

“Something bad happened in November,” NFIB’s chief economist, Bill Dunkelberg, said in a statement.

It had little to do with Hurricane Sandy.

“The storm had a significant impact on the economy, no doubt, but it is very clear that a stunning number of owners who expect worse business conditions in six months had far more to do with the decline in small-business confidence,” he explained.

There were red flags in these categories: Capital investments, earning trends and expansion. The only bright spot was in planned employment increases.

“Nearly half of owners are now certain that things will be worse next year than they are now,” said the economist. “Washington does not have the needs of small business in mind.”

What are the specific concerns?

“Between the looming ‘fiscal cliff,’ the promise of higher health care costs and the endless onslaught of new regulations, owners have found themselves in a state of pessimism,” he explained.

As written on this business portal’s Public Policy section in many articles, economic policies have been dysfunctional and will only continue to be so.

A few examples:

Further, ObamaCare is a mega threat to businesses and the nation. Countless companies – small, medium and large – have indicated they’re alarmed at ObamaCare’s ominous impacts.

In talking with businesspeople, it was the re-election of President Obama that severely depressed them.

The federal budget deficit has been a big black hole during his administration. Each year, it has been $1 trillion or higher, and it’s likely to continue. Further, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has not even allowed a vote on the budget since 2009. Businesspeople couldn’t possibly operate successfully without a budget.

Federal expenditures on healthcare, public-employee pensions and social security have jumped by $666 billion.

Increasing taxes on couples earning $250,000 is bad policy. Many are small-business employers. The aggregate taxes – local income, payroll and state in states such as Maryland and New York – are already approaching 50 percent.

Little wonder small businesspeople are depressed.

From the Coach’s Corner, the antidote for depression is action. See the Marketing/Sales section for more than 150 business-coaching articles.

“One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity.”

-Albert Schweitzer


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional.Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.