President Biden’s approval rating among Small Business Owners rose for the first time since he took office, ending a streak of six quarterly declines: CNBC|SurveyMonkey
Q4 2022 Small Business Confidence Index increases to a score of 43, one point higher than the all-time low of 42 in Q3 2022.
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. and SAN MATEO, CA, December 9, 2022 — CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, and Momentive, the maker of SurveyMonkey, today announced the results of their quarterly CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey.
After a streak of six quarterly declines from the first two years of Joe Biden’s presidency, the survey found that President Biden’s approval rating among small business owners went up to 34% from 31% in Q3, highlighting some political strength after the midterm elections. Despite the increase, the President’s approval rating is still 9 points below its peak of 43%, achieved in the first quarter of his presidency.
The fourth quarter survey, which was conducted November 9-16, 2022, found that inflation is top of mind for small business owners, with 45% saying inflation is the biggest risk to their business right now. Nearly all of those surveyed (92%) say they are concerned about inflation in general, with 69% saying they are “very concerned.” And the majority of small business owners don’t expect a reprieve anytime soon: 78% expect inflation to continue to rise, and just 28% of small business owners are confident in the Federal Reserve’s ability to get inflation under control.
Even though there are worries about inflation, a smaller number of small business owners think the economy has fallen into a recession compared to three months ago. Around half (49%) of small business owners say the U.S. economy is in a recession now, compared to 57% who said the economy was in a recession in the third quarter. More small business owners (24%) now say a recession is coming in the first half of 2023, which is up from 14% in Q3. However, sixty-one percent of small business owners across all industries, business types and business sizes say they’re prepared to withstand a recession if one occurs.
Overall, the Small Business Confidence Index, a number based on responses to eight questions in the survey, rose slightly to a score of 43 in Q4 2022, one point higher than the last quarter which was the all-time low since CNBC and SurveyMonkey began surveying small business owners in 2017. Despite this confidence, forty-nine percent of small business owners rate the economy as poor, which is roughly unchanged from Q3 2022 (51%).
“This first uptick in President Biden’s approval rating is significant on its own, but it is just one of many signs that conditions have improved over the past few months,” said Laura Wronski, director of research at Momentive. “More small business owners now than last quarter approve of the job the president is doing, fewer say we’re in a recession, and inflation is still Main Street’s top concern even though prices have begun to stabilize. We end the quarter and the year in a calmer place than we began.”
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, taxes, and other hot topics. In addition to measuring small business confidence nationwide, the large sample size gives CNBC and SurveyMonkey the power to uncover trends by geographic region and among specific small business cohorts.
Additional key findings from the Q4 2022 CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey include:
Other issues affecting small business owners, other than inflation:
- 14% of small business owners say labor shortages are the biggest risk to their businesses right now, which is a record high over the past year.
- Staffing concerns are especially prominent for larger small businesses: 36% of small businesses with 50 or more employees say labor shortages are the biggest risk to their business right now, outpacing the issue of inflation (27%).
- A record-low 7% of small business owners say COVID-19 is the biggest risk to their business right now, down from 9% last quarter.
- 17% say supply chain issues are their biggest risk, down five points from this time last year (23%).
Small Business Owners want Congress to focus on fighting inflation
- 43% of small business owners say “controlling inflation” should be the top priority for the next Congress.
- 56% of Republican small business owners, but just 21% of Democrats, say “controlling inflation” should be the top priority.
- Other top priorities among Republican small business owners: immigration reform (14%), and personal income tax reform (6%).
- Other top priorities among Democrat small business owners: Reproductive rights (18%), Voting rights (12%) and gun policy (12%).
CNBC will reveal the results of the CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey today, Friday, December 9th throughout CNBC’s Business Day programming. For more information on the survey including the full results and methodology and in-depth articles, go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/curiosity/cnbc-small-business-q4-2022/.
Momentive created a unique Small Business Confidence Index (SBCI), which is a 100-point score based on responses to eight key questions. The index is calculated on a scale from 0–100 and is based on the responses to eight key questions. A zero indicates no confidence, and a score of 100 indicates perfect confidence. The fourth quarter of 2022′s SBCI has increased to an overall value of 43 from 42 in the third quarter.
This CNBC|SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted November 9-16, 2022 among a national sample of 2,579 self-identified small business owners ages 18 and up. This quarter, we also reached 11,859 individuals who do not own small businesses. Respondents for this survey were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the results among small business owners and 1.5 percentage points for results among those who do not own small businesses.
Data for small business statistics have been weighted according to business characteristics (industry and number of employees) according to the Small Business Administration’s 2013 Statistics of U.S. Businesses. Additionally, person-level data (age, gender, level of education, race, geography) for business owners have been weighted to the Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners.
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Momentive (NASDAQ: MNTV), maker of SurveyMonkey, collects and analyzes human sentiment at scale. Momentive products, including SurveyMonkey, GetFeedback, and Momentive brand and market insights solutions, equip decision-makers at 345,000 organizations worldwide with the insights they need to make decisions with speed and confidence. Millions of users rely on Momentive to fuel market insights, brand insights, employee experience, customer experience, and product experience. Ultimately, the company’s vision is to broaden the world’s perspective to shape the future of business. Learn more at momentive.ai.