NFIB Weekly News

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NFIB Weekly News Leading the News

March Small Business Optimism Index Continues 16-Month Streak Of Historically High Results. (04/10/2018)

NFIB’s SBET for March showed a small business optimism index of 104.7, down from February’s 107.6 from February but still within the top five percent of 45 years of survey results. NFIB indicated that March’s index continues a 16-month streak of results in the top five percent. NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan was quoted saying, “It has been a remarkable 16 months for small business optimism. ... This is the first time in 35 years where the fewest number of small business owners have told us that taxes are their number one business problem.” Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg was quoted adding, “Hiring and spending on new buildings and land acquisition remained at strong levels, a good sign of confidence in economic prospects.”

Business Climate

Administration Seeks To Calm China Trade War Fears. (04/10/2018)

As part of a series of tweets, USA Today (4/8, Jackson) reported the President “vowed friendship” with Chinese President Xi Jinping “despite their trade differences,” as he and his top aides “sought to tamp down market fears of a trade war” between the two countries. The President tweeted, “President Xi and I will always be friends, no matter what happens with our dispute on trade.” He also predicted, “China will take down its Trade Barriers because it is the right thing to do. Taxes will become Reciprocal & a deal will be made on Intellectual Property. Great future for both countries!” Bloomberg News (4/8, Krasny, Chandra) said Trump “predicted China will be first to buckle” after “a week of rising tensions on trade,” but the AP (4/8, Lemire) said he “did not explain why, amid a week of economic saber-rattling between the two countries that shook global markets, he felt confident a deal could be made.”

Small Business Marketing

JPMorgan Chase Announces $2.5 Million Expansion Of Ascend 2020 Program Backing Minority-Owned Small Businesses. (04/10/2018)

According to Black Enterprise (4/5, McKinnet), JPMorgan Chase announced Thursday the launch of a “$2.5 million expansion of the Ascend 2020 program backing minority-owned small businesses over the next three years, boosting it to 10 U.S. cities from six.” Black Enterprise explained that Ascend 2020 is an “initiative to provide capital to minority-owned small businesses and help them land contracts with anchor institutions like hospitals, school systems, and universities.” The program is currently active in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, the Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., “as part of JPMorgan Chase’s $150 million Small Business Forward program to help women, minority, and veteran entrepreneurs.”

Wages and Benefits

Researchers To Examine Whether Minimum Wage Increase In Minneapolis Improves Workers’ Health. (04/10/2018)

The Minneapolis Star Tribune (4/5, Olson) reported University of Minnesota researchers are “recruiting 450 low-wage workers in Minneapolis to monitor their health – and hopefully see progress – as their wages increase over the next five years because of the city’s new minimum wage standards.” The article explained that the city’s “minimum wage increase is creating a rare opportunity for researchers to” test whether higher income leads to “better health.”