New State Small Business Reports Marginally Helpful

The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), which represents 600,000 small businesses in the United States, just inaugurated a new series of state surveys of small business owners.

Called the “Small-Business Conditions” reports, they cover 26 of the 50 states. Each state report contains a survey of business owners from that state.

Like the NFIB’s national-level Small Business Economic Trends reports (which contain their famous Optimism Index), each state report contains information about how business owners feel about the economic conditions and outlook for their state.

Unlike the national report, however, the state reports are only marginally useful. Maybe it is because they are new. They lack the commentary and historical comparisons that make the national-level report so insightful.

The NFIB does not seem to have figured out how to analyze and make sense of all the state-level data. Right now each state report consists of some data tables and a press release.

Also, the state results are not compared to the national level results. Consequently, it’s hard to put the state reports into perspective on a macro level or on an historical basis.

Even though I do not find the reports particularly helpful, I note them here in case you are interested in seeing small business owner sentiments at the state level.

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.