Appeared in the Daily Caller.
A majority of small business employers are not enthusiastic about the direction of the climate for small businesses, according to a Job Creator’s Network Foundation (JCNF) poll obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The survey, which collected responses from 400 small business employers between July 7 and July 30, found that 41% believed that the conditions of the economy and regulatory state for small businesses are getting worse, 35% believed it is the same and 24% believed it is getting better, according to the poll. Higher prices and inflation were the chief concern for 48% of small business employers, followed by the economy and client spending at 32% and general operating costs at 24%.
“For the better part of two years, small business sentiment has remained relatively flat—indicating a no growth small business economy,” Elaine Parker, JCNF president, told the DCNF. “The Biden-era has been characterized by a cocktail of reckless spending, anti-domestic energy policies, and a growing regulatory state that has triggered historic inflation. While price increases are moderating, nearly half of small business owners say inflation is still their first or second biggest concern.”
The poll tracks overall small business employer optimism through its Small Business Intelligence Quotient (SBIQ) on a scale from 0 to 100, with 100 being the “best possible conditions” and 0 being the “worst possible conditions,” according to the poll. The SBIQ was 54.8 in July, down from 55.7 in June and from a high of 63.5 in July 2021.
Over the next three months, 68% of small business employers estimate that employment at their companies will remain the same, while 4% expect it to decrease and 29% expect it to increase, according to the poll.
The U.S. added 187,000 jobs in July, which was 13,000 fewer than economists anticipated, with the unemployment rate falling to 3.5% from 3.6%. The number of jobs added for both May and June was revised down from previous estimates, from 306,000 to 281,000 and 209,000 to 185,000, respectively.
Small business employers had mixed responses to the perceived condition of the economy, with 43% of respondents saying the condition of the economy is “only fair,” 28% saying it is poor, 23% saying it is good and 6% saying it is excellent, according to the poll.
More than half of respondents believed that the direction of the U.S. economy is getting worse, while 27% believed it is staying the same and 22% believed it is getting better, according to the poll.
Closures over economic conditions were a concern for 55% of small business employers in July, down from a high of 65% in November and December of 2022, while 43% were not concerned, according to the poll.
The U.S. economy outperformed expectations in July, growing at a rate of 2.4% compared to the 2.0% economists expected.
The poll has an accuracy of +/-4.9% at a 95% confidence interval.