Today, the Job Creators Network Foundation (JCNF) released its July Small Business IQ Poll of 500 small business owners. The Small Business Intelligence Quotient (SBIQ), an index tracking overall small business sentiment about the economy, is little changed compared to the previous month—rising by one-tenth of a point to 52.8. The reading remains near a record low and is down 17 percent since this time last year.
While small business sentiment is depressed, Congress is poised to pass the party-line tax and spend reconciliation bill later this week—which includes elements that are of major concern to Mainstreet. Nearly two-thirds of small businesses say proposed Biden tax increases will hurt the small business community—a suspicion that has grown since the initial ‘Build Back Broke’ bill was unveiled last year.
Additionally, as prices for small businesses and consumers continue to climb at the quickest pace in 40 years, 80 percent of small business owners don’t believe the Biden administration is doing enough to address it. That’s a jump of eight points compared to June. As a result, more than half of respondents have passed along at least some of the price increases to consumers; 45 percent have reported a negative impact on their bottom line.
Other key takeaways include:
- Fifty-six percent of businesses are concerned that current economic conditions could force them to close. That number jumps to 73 percent for minority-owned businesses, and 76 percent for female-owned businesses.
- Only 26 percent of small businesses say the condition of the U.S. Economy is “good” or “excellent.” 74 percent rate it as “fair” or “poor.”
- Inflation continues to be the number one concern among small business owners, with 48 percent calling it their first or second biggest problem. No other issue has rated this high in the history of our poll.
- Fifty percent of small business owners think the climate for small businesses is worse compared to 21 percent in July of 2021.
Elaine Parker, JCN Foundation President, released the following statement:
“The White House and its allies in Congress are poised to greenlight the misnamed ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ later this week. The package will sucker punch the small business community with what is effectively a tax hike and place a bullseye on the backs of entrepreneurs as a target for the supersized IRS. It couldn’t come at a worse time; rising prices are already squeezing Mainstreet and small business sentiment remains near an index record low. House members should consider this small business perspective before rubber stamping the tax and spend package.”