ICYMI: Small Business Confidence, Economic Optimism Rising Under Biden-Harris Administration

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As Inflation Falls, Majority of Small Business Owners Feel “Highly Optimistic” About the National Economy

WASHINGTON, March 07, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Recent reports show a surge in confidence among small business owners and consumers as inflation falls, recession fears subside, and consumer spending rises. The growth in optimism coincides with an unprecedented Small Business Boom, which has seen more than 16.5 million new small business applications filed since President Biden took office – a record level. Thanks in part to this historic surge, economic optimism among small businesses has hit a 22-year high, with a majority of business owners saying they are “highly optimistic” about the national economy.  

Other key indicators include: 

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  • Roughly eight in 10 small business owners feel confident about their financial prospects, with more than half expecting profits to rise in the next six months. (PNC Financial Services Group) 
  • 85% of small businesses report being satisfied with the success of their businesses, and 86% said they achieved their 2023 business goals. (American Express) 
  • 50% of small businesses surveyed have plans to grow or expand their businesses in 2024. (American Express) 
  • Americans’ assessment of the economy is at its highest level in more than two years. (CBS) 

The Biden-Harris Administration’s strong economic track record gives business owners and consumers alike much to feel positive about. The United States has had the strongest growth since the pandemic of the world’s major economies, with the longest low unemployment streak in over 50 years, strong GDP growth, and considerable wage growth.  

See excerpts from coverage of growing confidence levels below: 

CBS: Small business owners report growing optimism about the U.S. economy 

  • “Small business owners are feeling better about the U.S. economy as inflation cools and recession fears subside, according to a new survey. Indeed, economic optimism among smaller employers is at a 22-year high, PNC Financial Services Group found in polling small and midsize business owners.   
  • A majority of respondents – 55% – said they are “highly optimistic” about the national economy this year. That’s up sharply from 34% last fall and 26% a year ago according to the Pittsburgh-based bank. Roughly eight in 10 owners also expressed confidence about their own businesses’ financial prospects. Over the next six months, just over half of the business owners who were surveyed think their profits will rise, while only 5% expect earnings to fall.” 
  • “As inflation slows, fewer small business owners also see a need to raise their own prices in the near term.” 
     

Associated Press: Small business owners are optimistic for growth in 2024 

  • Eighty-five percent of all small businesses surveyed said they were satisfied with the success of their business, and 86% said they achieved their 2023 business goals. In August 2023, by contrast, 80% of all small businesses surveyed said their long-term financial confidence was being negatively impacted by the economy.” 
  • Fifty percent of small businesses surveyed have plans to grow or expand their business in 2024.”  

CNBC: Economic confidence among small business owners hits highest level since Biden took office

  • “Optimism surrounding the economy is rising and the CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Confidence Index reached its highest level since President Joe Biden took office, according to the latest quarterly data released on Thursday morning. . .up five percentage points from the prior quarter and up from 18% year over year, according to the CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey for Q1 2024.” 

CBS: Economists see brighter outlook for 2024. Here’s why

  • “A panel of economists expect this year to be characterized by faster growth, shrinking inflation and healthy job creation — a far cry from the widespread fears of a recession that marked 2023. The National Association for Business Economics (NABE) on Monday predicted that gross domestic product — a measure of the value of goods and services — will rise 2.2% in 2024, a significantly more bullish forecast than what the group projected only two months ago.” 
  • “Inflation, which drives up the cost of groceries, rent and car insurance, among other spending categories, is expected to continue slowing this year. NABE forecasts that the Consumer Price Index — a basket of common goods and services — will decline to an annual rate of 2.4% this year, compared with 4.1% in 2023 and 8% in 2022.” 
  • “Americans’ economic outlook has brightened somewhat of late. A February poll by CBS News found that people’s assessments of the economy are at their highest level in more than two years.” 

Birmingham Times: Why Black Small Business Owners Are Optimistic, Ready For Growth in 2024 

  • “Optimism this year starts at home, with Black (77 percent) small business owners more positive about the outlook for their own businesses, compared to all small business owners surveyed (69 percent). Those high hopes are figuring into their 2024 projections – 80 percent of Black small business owners expect substantial increases in revenue and sales compared to 69 percent of small business owners overall.” 
  • “In addition to expressing confidence in their own businesses, more than half (51 percent) of Black small business owners expressed optimism about the state of the national economy, compared to 43 percent total small business owners, and 68 percent are more optimistic about their industry’s performance compared to 63 percent total small business owners surveyed.” 

For more information about SBA’s loan programs, financial assistance, and other services, visit www.sba.gov

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

CONTACT: Christine Saah-Nazer U.S. Small Business Administration 202-756-0304 [email protected] 

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