By CASEY HARPER
THE CENTER SQUARE SENIOR REPORTER
(The Center Square) — Small businesses say they are worse off than they were at the same time last year, according to newly released polling data.
The Job Creators Network Foundation released the poll of 500 small businesses Tuesday that shows that economic pressures, especially inflation, have put those businesses in a tough spot.
“Last month, the Small Business Intelligence Quotient, an index tracking overall small business sentiment about the economy, fell by 1.5 points to the lowest reading on record — a decline driven by future expectations,” JCNF said. “Meanwhile, as Main Street faces high inflation and other economic challenges, 75% of small businesses say they have or are anticipating raising consumer prices. Of those that increased prices, 82% added the increase was either ‘a lot’ or ‘significant.’”
The poll also found inflation is a “huge concern” for small businesses, reporting that 73% say the Biden administration “isn’t doing enough” to combat rising prices.
ABC/Ipsos polling of Americans released earlier this week found similar results, with only 28% approving of President Joe Biden’s handling of inflation.
The JCN poll found that things have gotten markedly worse for small businesses in the past year.
According to the survey, 55% of small businesses said “the climate for small business was fair or poor” in May 2021. That figure jumped to 63% in May this year.
Businesses don’t seem overly optimistic that things will improve in the short term with 51% of surveyed small businesses saying they think their sales will rise this summer.
“After a year of measuring the pulse of Main Street with the only scientific poll of small business owners of its kind, it’s clear entrepreneurs are worse off now than 12 months ago,” said Elaine Parker, president of the Job Creators Network Foundation. “After peaking in July 2021, overall small business sentiment is depressed as employers face high inflation, supply chain disruptions, the threat of new taxes, and skyrocketing transportation costs.
“To make matters worse, instead of addressing these issues, the Biden administration has elected to play the blame game and mislead the American people with political spin,” she added.
Casey Harper works at The Center Square’s Washington, D.C., bureau.