JCNF Press ReleaseApril 4, 2024

JCNF Poll: One-Third of Small Businesses Say Rising Crime Cuts into Earnings; Homelessness, Drug Addiction to Blame

44 percent of respondents say illegal immigration is harming their business

Washington, D.C. (April 4, 2024)—New polling from the Job Creators Network Foundation (JCNF) reveals that one-third of small businesses say elevated crime is cutting into their earnings. The need for increased spending on security, lost product due to shoplifting, and a drop in customer foot traffic are reasons why. A majority of respondents blame homelessness and drug addiction for the uptick.

Only one-fifth of small business owners say illegal immigration is the biggest reason for the rise in crime. However, 44 percent of respondents do agree that their business is at least somewhat being harmed by the Biden administration’s border policies. To that end, more than two-thirds of small business owners support immigration reform that would secure the border and provide a path to “earned” legal residency. 

Meanwhile, the Small Business Intelligence Quotient (SBIQ), an index tracking overall small business sentiment about the economy, increased by 2.3-points compared to January. 

But despite the modest improvement, Main Street is showing clear signs of anxiety. Forty-six percent say the economy is getting worse while only 27 percent say it’s getting better. That’s why it’s not surprising that three-quarters of small business owners say they are most interested in hearing 2024 presidential candidates talk about the economy. 

See the full poll here.

Alfredo Ortiz, CEO of the Job Creators Network, released the following statement:

“Small businesses almost always care most about the economy, a pattern that remains true during this election cycle. But what has changed under the Biden administration is the degree to which other factors affect it. Soft-on-crime policies and a deteriorating southern border are contributing to drug addiction and homelessness—an environment that is spilling over onto Main Street. As a result, small businesses are feeling the financial squeeze, and many know the Biden administration is partly to blame.”