America's small-business owners are highly confident about their prospects for the next year and optimistic about the state of the U.S. economy, according to the first-ever CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey.
SurveyMonkey conducted the survey in partnership with CNBC. Respondents were asked for their opinions on a variety of subjects about the future of their business and the state of the economy and U.S. politics. SurveyMonkey also calculated a small-business confidence index from the responses to eight key questions and concluded that small-business owners are "undeniably confident" in their prospects for the next year.
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The index has an overall value of 60 this quarter, on a 0–100 scale, in which 0 indicates no confidence and 100 indicates perfect confidence. An index value of 60 means that business owners are, on the whole, more optimistic than they are pessimistic about the direction their businesses will head over the next 12 months.
Male small-business owners were found to be more optimistic than females, with a confidence level of 62, versus female small-business owners, with a confidence level of 56. Men were more likely to expect revenues to increase over the next 12 months than women, and much more likely than women to expect changes in tax policy and regulations to have a positive impact on their businesses over the next 12 months.
Size of business also impacted confidence levels. Owners with less than four employees have a confidence level of 58. Those with 50 or more employees scored 9 points higher, at 67.
Data was collected in April from more than 2,000 small-business owners using SurveyMonkey's online platform.