CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, and SurveyMonkey, a leading global survey software company, recently 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, taxes 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 Q1 2019 CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey include:
Small business owners think recession is likely
Nobel laureate Paul Krugman thinks the U.S. economy may be heading into a recession at a time when the Federal Reserve doesn’t have the firepower to properly combat a slump, according to Bloomberg. Meanwhile, (53%) of small business owners think a recession in 2019 is “very” or “somewhat likely.”
Female small business owners are more likely than their male counterparts to think a recession is on the way. 61% of women say a recession is likely, vs. 49% of men. Recession fears also break down along party lines. Just 38% of Republican small business owners say a recession is likely, vs. 79% of Democrats and 59% of independents.
However, overall confidence remains positive
Overall small business owner confidence has remained more positive than negative. Fifty-two percent (52%( of respondents say current business conditions are “good,” compared to 55% in Q4 2018, but still up from 47% in Q1 2018. This factor is just one component of our small business confidence index score, which decreased slightly from 59 to 58 this quarter.
Meanwhile, 20% of small business owners say a government shutdown is a “major concern” for their business. 29% say it is a “minor concern.” Exactly half (50%) say it is “not a concern.”
1 in 3 Small Business Owners Impacted By Recent Shutdown
The U.S. federal government shutdown of 2018–2019 occurred from midnight EST on December 22, 2018 until January 25, 2019. The longest U.S. government shutdown in history, and the second federal government shutdown involving furloughs during the presidency of Donald Trump impacted more than a third of small businesses.
According to the survey, 37% of respondents say they were impacted by the recent government shutdown. While, 35% of those impacted say they saw a slowdown in sales. About one in eight (13%) say they lost revenue from a contract with a government agency and only 10% say they lost access to SBA loans.
“Though more than one in three small business owners were affected by the recent, record-long government shutdown, its impact barely registers in our overall measure of small business confidence,” said Jon Cohen, chief research officer at SurveyMonkey.
“Key indicators of revenue growth, hiring expectations, and job openings reflect stability rather than volatility at the start of 2019. Still, concern about another shutdown looms: two in 10 say the threat presents a significant worry for their businesses.”
For more details on the CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey visit CNBC.com.