Small business confidence drops to record low following election of Joe Biden: Survey

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A survey shows that small business confidence plummeted to an all-time low after the presumed election of former Vice President Joe Biden.

A Q4 CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey conducted between Nov. 10 and Nov. 17 among more than 2,000 small business owners recorded a consumer index rating of 48, which beat the record low of 49 set during Q2 of this year when coronavirus lockdowns intensified.

CNBC began conducting the survey in 2017, and the index has registered as high as 62 and never fell below 50 until 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic sparked government-imposed restrictions on businesses and social activity.

CNBC notes that responses to the survey are skewed by the political leanings of respondents, and roughly 60% of small business owners polled identified themselves as Republicans.

Of small business owners polled, 53% signaled they expect Biden’s tax policy to hurt their businesses within a year, and 49% said government regulation will have a negative effect.

Seventy-five percent of Republicans feared Biden’s tax policies would hurt their businesses, while only 15% of Democrats felt the same way.

CNBC says that the “negative impact” responses are the lowest in the four years the survey has been conducted.

“The immediate shift in forward-looking sentiment that small business owners reported following the election reveals how deeply politics has become embedded in the public’s assessment of the economy, and, in particular, how divided the country is,” Laura Wronski, research science manager at SurveyMonkey said about the survey. “We’ve seen evidence of that every quarter, with Republican small business owners consistently reporting a higher degree of confidence than Democrats, but the election of Joe Biden is the first opportunity we’ve had to see whether that would flip if presidential power changed parties — and it did dramatically.”

Overall, the survey found that 34% of small business owners believe Joe Biden will be good for small business compared to 55% who say he will be harmful to them. Broken down by party, 89% of Republican small business owners say Biden will be bad for business, and 86% of Democrats say his policies will benefit them.





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