Wayne Best, left, and Bill Dunkelberg are touring the country discussing small business and the state of the economy.

As part of their “Economic Road Show,” Bill Dunkelberg of the National Federation of Independent Business and Visa Inc.’s Wayne Best visited Madison recently, spreading good news about the U.S. economy and the state of small business. Dunkelberg, the NFIB’s chief economist, and Best, the head of business and economic insights for Visa, have their finger on the pulse of business — Dunkelberg because of the NFIB’s research into small businesses and Best because of how closely he tracks the trillion-dollar payments industry.

In the following Take Five interview, they explain why they are so bullish on the economy — “This is some of the best stuff we’ve seen in 45 years of talking to small businesses,” Dunkelberg notes — but also why the U.S. might fall short of the 4% growth of past expansions.

IB: Is the economic data really as good as it looks?

Dunkelberg: We’re in the second longest expansion in our history, and they [small businesses] played a major role in that, keeping us going for eight years when growth was slow, and then accelerating growth by 50%, from 2% to the 3% growth that we have now, which is massive and really accelerating us into the next few months, and we hope into the next few years. The message is really good across the board.

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