As New Data Reveals 6.5% Inflation, Small Business Concern Over Rising Prices Remains at 19-Month High

Press ReleaseJanuary 16, 2023

Washington, D.C. (January 16, 2023)—Today, the Job Creators Network Foundation (JCNF) released the December 2022 edition of its monthly Small Business IQ Poll of 500 small business owners. The Small Business Intelligence Quotient, an index tracking overall small business sentiment about the economy, increased 1.1-points to 54. Although an improvement, the indicator is still below readings from the same time in 2021 and is only 4-points away from negative territory. (A score of 50 is neutral, anything above 50 is positive and anything below is negative.)

Meanwhile, 49 percent of small businesses rate inflation as one of their top two concerns—a 19-month and series high. While the Biden administration has been trying to cover-up news about high inflation by touting declining gas prices and a deceleration of Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases, small business owners are still predictably feeling the squeeze. According to the latest government report out last week, inflation over the past 12-months is still significantly elevated at 6.5 percent.

Other key takeaways include:

  • Small business owners are against the student loan bailout with 67 percent voicing opposition. That’s why JCNF has taken the Biden administration to court over the plan.
  • A majority (52 percent) of small businesses think the direction of the U.S. economy is getting worse. Additionally, 62 percent of respondents rate the climate for small businesses as poor or fair.
  • When grading Joe Biden on how he is helping small businesses, 53 percent gave him a “D” or “F.” Parsing the data out, 49 percent of female-owned businesses and 36 percent of minority-owned businesses give Biden a “D” or “F” grade.

View more polling details and crosstabs here.

Elaine Parker, President of the Job Creators Network Foundation, released the following statement:

“As small business owners prepared to say goodbye to 2022 and hello to the new year, overall sentiment about the economy modestly improved in December. But a temporary holiday spending bump and sense of optimism for 2023 won’t permanently fix the unease entrepreneurs are feeling about the weak economy. Despite rhetoric from the Biden administration, inflation remains three-times higher than the Fed’s target rate, most small businesses say the economy is getting worse, and 57 percent believe the country is in a recession. The White House should reset its agenda and work with the new 118th Congress to rein-in government spending, make provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permanent, and exempt Mainstreet from new government regulations to get the economy back on track.”