The National Federation of Independent Businesses says the Small Business Optimism Index set a record in January, with small business owners saying now is a good time to expand. State NFIB Director Dawn Starns says owners are enthusiastic about investing the extra money they have on hand from federal tax reform.

“Because they either want to upgrade the facility they are in, make that capital investment, open a second location or a third location.”

Starns says while it might be a good time to expand because of less federal taxes and regulations, small business owners are concerned about finding qualified workers for open positions.

“Folks that are looking to hire more retail workers, secretarial or hire those maintenance folks, or those engineer folks with their certifications.”

With the start of the special session Monday, Governor John Bel Edwards has proposed increasing taxes on some service based businesses to help bridge a one-billion-dollar budget gap. Starns says it would unravel the optimism the businesses are feeling now.

“Having to implement a new sales tax program at the state level would be devastating, at this point. It would just completely un-do everything at the federal level.”