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CNBC

CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Index Q2 2021

CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Index Q2 2021

Small business owners have a slightly improved outlook heading into Q2, according to the latest CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Confidence Survey. The overall Small Business Confidence Index score rose to 45/100, though it had previously been at an all-time low of 43. More than a year after the start of the coronavirus pandemic, small business owners are split nearly evenly between those who expect to have a "new normal" after the pandemic (51%) and those who expect to get "back to normal" (47%).

  • 64% of small business owners now say their business can survive more than a year under current business conditions, up from 55% last quarter
  • 34% now say current business conditions are good, up from 29% last quarter; 18% now say current conditions are bad, down from 25% last quarter

Biden’s AJP gets mixed support on Main Street

  • 51% of small business owners approve of the American Jobs Plan and 47% disapprove
    • 58% of women vs. 46% of men approve
    • 64% of small business owners under age 35 approve, with support falling as age increases
    • 83% of Black small business owners and 63% of Hispanic small business owners approve, vs. 47% of whites and 45% of small business owners of another race
    • 97% of Democrats and Democratic leaners, 55% of independents, and 23% of Republican and GOP leaners approve of the AJP
  • There’s even less support among small business owners for a increase in the corporate tax rate: 39% say they approve of raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, while 59% disapprove
    • 85% of Democrats and Democratic leaners, 38% of independents, and 13% of Republican and GOP leaners approve of a corporate tax hike
  • Among the general public, who do not run small businesses, 64% approve of the AJP, and 53% approve of increasing the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%
  • Another problem for the Biden administration on Main Street: immigration. 
    • 17% of small business owners now say immigration is the issue that matters most to them right now, a big jump up from 5% last quarter
    • 41% expect changes in immigration policy to have a negative effect on their business in the next 12 months, up from 36% last quarter (a new high)

Small businesses are looking to hire

  • 25% of small business owners expect their headcount to increase in the next year, up from 19% last quarter
  • 24% have open positions they have been unable to fill for at least three months (up from 16% in Q1 2020)
    • This is especially high in the accommodation and food services industry: 34% of small business owners say they’ve had open roles for 3+ months
  • 30% of small business owners say the cost of labor will increase the most for their company over the next six months, higher than the percentage who expect the cost of capital to increase (18%) but lower than the number who expect the cost of raw materials to increase the most (48%)
  • 65% say their headcount has stayed about the same over the past three months, while 13% say their headcount has gone up and 21% say their headcount has gone down (virtually unchanged from Q1) 

The future of work on Main Street

  • 44% of small business owners say their workforce is currently working fully from their usual workplace or office, 24% are working fully from home, and 31% are doing a mix of working from home and working from their usual workplace
    • By industry: 
      • 63% of mining and construction workers are working fully from their usual workplace or office
      • 59% of retail trade workers are working fully from their usual workplace or office
      • 58% of accommodation and food services workers are working fully from their usual workplace or office
  • 40% say their business’s reliance on technology and software tools has increased over the last year, 7% say it has decreased, and 52% say it has stayed the same
  • Similarly, 41% say their business’s reliance on technology and software tools is likely to increase in the next year, 7% say it will likely decrease, and 50% say it will likely stay the same

Read more about our polling methodology here
Click through all the results in the interactive toplines below: