CNBC and SurveyMonkey release latest quarterly small business survey

Quarterly survey finds small business owners are less hopeful for tax reform and other policy changes

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. and SAN MATEO, CA, September 25, 2017 – CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, and SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading People Powered Data platform, today announced the results of their quarterly CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey. Each quarter, CNBC and SurveyMonkey poll over 2,000 small business owners aiming to measure the vitality of the American economy as well as the view from Main Street on jobs, regulation, healthcare and other hot topics. In addition to measuring small business confidence nationwide, the large sample size gives CNBC the power to uncover trends by geographic region and among specific small business cohorts.

Key findings from the latest CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey include:

  • Significant declines in the number of small business owners who are optimistic about the impact changes in regulatory, tax, and trade policy will have on their businesses:
    • Only 27% of respondents say they expect changes in government regulation to have a positive effect on their business over the next 12 months, down from 38% in April
      • In fact, 30% say regulation will have a negative impact on their business, up from 26% in April
    • 31% of respondents say tax policy will have a positive impact on their business, down from 42% in April
    • Just 18% of respondents feel trade policy will have a positive effect on their business, down from 27% in April
  • Amid a growing belief that policy changes may not happen, Republican and Republican-leaning small business owners’ confidence in the administration is eroding, while confidence among Democrats and Democratic-leaning small business owners is increasing:
    • Confidence among Republican small business owners fell to 63, down from 70 in April
    • 87% of Republican small business owners approve of the job Donald Trump is doing, down from 91% in April
      • 54% of Republicans strongly approve of the job Donald Trump is doing, down from 61% in April
    • Confidence among Democrat small business owners increased to 51, up from 47 in April
  • Nonbusiness owners have a bleaker view of the small business sector than business owners*
    • 39% of small business owners say conditions for their businesses are “good”
    • Only 29% of Americans who do not own a small business say current conditions are “good” for small businesses in their area

CNBC Small Business Reporter Kate Rogers will reveal the results of the CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey today, Monday, September 25th throughout CNBC’s Business Day programming. For more information on the survey including the full results and methodology and in-depth articles, go to: In addition, SurveyMonkey created a unique Small Business Confidence Index (SBCI), which is a 100 point score based on responses to eight key questions. The third-quarter SBCI has an overall value of 57, indicating that small business owners are more optimistic than pessimistic about the direction their business will go in the next 12 months; however, this is down from a score of 60 in the second-quarter.

The CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey was conducted using SurveyMonkey’s online platform from August 10 - 17, 2017 among a national sample of 2,282 self-identified small business owners ages 18 and up. Respondents for this survey were selected from the nearly three million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Data for this quarter have been weighted to be representative of small business owners nationally, according to business characteristics from the Small Business Administration’s 2013 Statistics of U.S. Businesses and owner characteristics from the Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners.

*CNBC/Survey Monkey additionally surveyed 10,630 individuals who do not own small businesses. Data for questions asked of the general population have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over.

About CNBC:
With CNBC in the U.S., CNBC in Asia Pacific, CNBC in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and CNBC World, CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news and provides real-time financial market coverage and business information to more than 409 million homes worldwide, including more than 91 million households in the United States and Canada. CNBC also provides daily business updates to 400 million households across China. The network's 15 live hours a day of business programming in North America (weekdays from 4:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC's global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC at night features a mix of new reality programming, CNBC's highly successful series produced exclusively for CNBC and a number of distinctive in-house documentaries.

CNBC also has a vast portfolio of digital products which deliver real-time financial market news and information across a variety of platforms including:; CNBC PRO, the premium, integrated desktop/mobile service that provides live access to CNBC programming, exclusive video content and global market data and analysis; a suite of CNBC mobile products including the CNBC Apps for iOS, Android and Windows devices; and additional products such as the CNBC App for the Apple Watch and Apple TV.

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About SurveyMonkey:
Founded in 1999 and based in San Mateo, California, SurveyMonkey is the world’s leading People Powered Data platform enabling curious individuals and companies – including 99% of the Fortune 500 – to have conversations at scale with the people who matter most. Whether it’s a trend in the market, opinions of customers, or voices of employees, SurveyMonkey turns them into actionable data. As a pioneer of the industry, SurveyMonkey is a trusted platform for people to express their true feelings and opinions so organizations can uncover the ‘why’ behind the data. SurveyMonkey’s 650+ employees throughout North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific are dedicated to powering the curious. For more information about SurveyMonkey, please visit:

For more information, contact:
Jennifer Dauble

Irina Efremova