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Q1 2020 Survey Records All-Time High Approval Rates for President Trump Among Small Business Owners

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. and SAN MATEO, CA, February 20, 2020 — CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, and SurveyMonkey (Nasdaq: SVMK), a leading global survey software company, today announced the results of their quarterly CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey.

The survey found that Small Business confidence has increased from the fourth quarter of 2019, as owners showed they are less pessimistic about the future impact of U.S trade policy and government regulations on their businesses. Simultaneously, small business owner’s approval ratings of President Trump hit an all-time high since the survey began recording the index in Q2 2017.

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 2020 CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey include:

  • Small Business Confidence rises as pessimism about future changes in policy declines: The Small Business Confidence Index rose to 61 in Q1 (from 59 in Q4 2019), helped by declines in the percent of small business owners who are pessimistic about future changes in regulations, tax policy and trade policy. 56% of small business owners described business as “good,” (up from 53% in Q4 2019.)
  • President Trump’s approval among small business owners hits an all-time high: 64% of small business owners approve of the way President Donald Trump is handling his presidency. This is the highest number recorded since the Small Business Survey’s inception three years ago, up from 60% in Q4 2019 and 56% in Q1 2019. The percentage of small business owners who say they "strongly approve" of how Trump is handling his job also reached a new high, 47%. In previous iterations of the survey, it had never been above 40%.
  • Most small business owners say the USMCA and China trade deal will not impact their businesses: Still, the majority of those who do expect to feel an impact from trade expect it to be a positive impact. 21% expect the USMCA deal will have a positive impact and 18% expect the U.S.-China Phase One Trade Deal will have a positive impact on their business. Those in the retail sector are most likely to say either deal will impact them.
  • Most small business owners expect wages to stay the same in 2020: When asked, “If one of your employees were to quit today, would you expect to pay their replacement more, less, or the same salary to do the same job?”, 14% expect to pay more (up marginally from 12% in Q1 2019) and 70% expect to pay the same.
  • Almost half (43%) of small business owners say minimum wage increases will impact their business: 22% say minimum wage increases that took effect in 20 states at the beginning of the year will result in lower profit, while 14% say it will force them to cut worker’s hours, and 8% say it will lead to layoffs. Small businesses with more employees are more likely to be affected by the minimum wage increase, with 37% of those with 50 employees or more saying the higher minimum wage will cut into profits and 22% saying they will be forced to reduce worker hours.

“Stability can be a source of confidence, particularly in a small business context where even minor changes have outsized consequences,” says Jon Cohen, chief research officer at SurveyMonkey. “More small business owners now than in any of the past 12 quarters don’t foresee government regulations or tax policy having big effects on their business in 2020, and their overall buoyant outlook signals this lack of upheaval is a welcome change.”

CNBC Small Business Reporter Kate Rogers will reveal the results of the CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey today, Thursday, February 20th, throughout CNBC’s Business Day programming. For more information on the survey including the full results and methodology and in-depth articles, go to:

SurveyMonkey 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 2019′s SBCI has increased to an overall value 61 from 59 in the fourth quarter.

The CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey was conducted using SurveyMonkey’s online platform from February 3 – February 10, 2020 among a national sample of 2,118 self-identified small business owners ages 18 and up. Respondents for this survey were selected from more than two million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Data for this quarter have been weighted to be representative of small business owners nationally, according to business characteristics from the Small Business Administration’s 2013 Statistics of U.S. Businesses and owner characteristics from the Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners.

For more information contact:
Jennifer Dauble

Sandra Gharib

About CNBC:
CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news and provides real-time financial market coverage and business content consumed by more than 320 million people per month across all platforms. The network's 14 live hours a day of business programming in North America (weekdays from 5:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC's global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC at night features a mix of new reality programming, CNBC's highly successful series produced exclusively for CNBC and a number of distinctive in-house documentaries.

CNBC also offers content through its vast portfolio of digital products such as:, which provides real-time financial market news and information to CNBC’s investor audience; CNBC Make It, a digital destination focused on making you smarter about how you earn, save and spend your money; CNBC PRO, a premium service that provides in-depth access to Wall Street; a suite of CNBC mobile apps for iOS and Android devices; Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri voice interfaces; and streaming services including Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Samsung Smart TVs. To learn more, visit

Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBCUniversal Media Village Web site at For more information about NBCUniversal, please visit

About SurveyMonkey:
SurveyMonkey is a leading global survey software company on a mission to power the curious. The company’s platform empowers over 17 million active users to measure and understand feedback from employees, customers, website and app users, and the market. SurveyMonkey’s products, enterprise solutions and integrations enable 335,000+ organizations to solve daily challenges, from delivering better customer experiences to increasing employee retention. With SurveyMonkey, organizations around the world can transform feedback into business intelligence that drives growth and innovation.

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