What’s Prognosis for America’s Small Businesses? New Poll: Not Good

Appeared in the Daily Signal.

new poll released by the Job Creators Network Foundation finds that more than 2 out of 3 small businesses feel negatively about the economy and that nearly 3 out of 4 of them will have to “significantly” raise their prices to offset rising inflation.

These disturbing findings come from the Job Creators Network Foundation’s June Small Business IQ Poll, which sampled 500 small-business owners between June 4 and 28.

According to the poll, inflation is top of mind for small-business owners, as 46% of respondents say it’s their first or second-biggest concern. At the beginning of the year, 40% noted it as a major problem.

While inflation ranked as a primary point of concern for small-business owners, high gas prices also registered as a major issue. Some 27% of respondents said that was their top or second-biggest concern, up 4 percentage points from last month, while not even registering as a concern a year ago.

Additionally, the Job Creators Network Foundation tracks something called the Small Business Intelligence Quotient, which measures a mixture of current and future conditions facing small businesses. The number tracks:

  • Employer’s current business conditions.
  • Condition of U.S. economy today.
  • Current climate for small businesses.
  • Direction of employer’s business over next three months.
  • Employer’s plans for hiring over next three months.
  • Direction of U.S. economy.
  • Direction of climate for small businesses.

June’s quotient was 52.7, more than a full-point drop from last month’s 53.9 and a whopping 8 points lower than 60.9 the same time last year. June’s numbers represent a three-month decline and an all-time low.

The poll found that small-business owners don’t think the Biden administration is doing enough to combat inflation. Some 72% of respondents said President Joe Biden isn’t doing enough to deal with ballooning inflation rates, while just 12% said he is and 16% were unsure.

The president didn’t fare any better when it came to small-business owners’ assessment of his handling of the supply chain crisis. Again, 72% of respondents said the administration isn’t doing enough, while 16% think it is, for a net approval rating of minus-56 points.

The majority of small-business owners disagree with the administration’s push to eliminate domestic production of oil and natural gas. Fully 4 in 5—80%—said they support increasing domestic energy production, becoming energy independent, and reducing America’s reliance on foreign oil.