Press ReleaseAugust 9, 2023

New Polling Suggests ‘No Growth’ Economy for Small Businesses

Washington, D.C. (August 9, 2023) – Today, the Job Creators Network Foundation (JCNF) released the July edition of its Small Business IQ Poll of 400 small business employers. The Small Business Intelligence Quotient (SBIQ), an index tracking sentiment about the economy, dropped nearly a point to 54.8—the second lowest reading recorded this year.

Small business sentiment has remained relatively flat since 2021—economic fatigue that is having a chilling effect on Main Street growth. According to July’s polling, 72 percent of small employers are either pressing pause on hiring or cutting staff. Meanwhile, 67 percent are freezing wages.

The survey also indicates strong popularity for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)—a pandemic-era grant program that provided a lifeline to millions of small businesses. Despite recent misplaced claims about fraud, 72 percent of entrepreneurs support the PPP.

View more polling details and crosstabs here.

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

“For the better part of two years, small business sentiment has remained relatively flat—indicating a no growth small business economy. It’s not difficult to understand why. The Biden-era has been characterized by a cocktail of reckless spending, anti-domestic energy policies, and a growing regulatory state that has triggered historic inflation. While price increases are moderating, nearly half of small business owners say inflation is still their first or second biggest concern.