JCNF Press ReleaseFebruary 16, 2024

New Survey: Crime is Increasing Costs for Small Businesses

The only national scientific poll of small business owners

Washington, D.C.—Today, the Job Creators Network Foundation (JCNF) released its January edition of monthly polling that measures the pulse of the small business community. Small businesses are facing a number of challenges but seldom talked about is the impact of elevated crime—and it’s not positive. According to this month’s survey, nearly one-third (31 percent) of brick-and-mortar small employers say neighborhood crime is increasing the cost of doing business. 

In addition to added costs associated with extra security or stolen inventory, small businesses are navigating an economy that is less rosy than the Biden administration portrays. Even with the inflation rate moderating, 78 percent of employers say the cost of doing business has not gone down. And more broadly, nearly half of small businesses (48 percent) say the economy is getting worse while only 29 percent say it’s getting better.

Meanwhile, the Small Business Intelligence Quotient (SBIQ), a seven-indicator index tracking overall small business sentiment, started 2024 at roughly the same level it’s been at for two years. After dipping in 2021, small business sentiment—although somewhat fluctuating—has not meaningfully improved. 

View more polling details here. 

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

“With historic inflation over the past three years, other challenges facing Main Street employers have often not been top of mind. Lawlessness on the streets of American cities is one example. Our polling shows that nearly one-third of small businesses with a brick-and-mortar location are facing higher costs because of crime. The findings should emphasize to lawmakers that soft-on-crime policies have a significant spillover effect on the economy.”