Small businesses in the retail trade industry include some quintessential examples of Main Street America: bookstores, clothing retailers, gas stations, corner bodegas and auto shops. Like all small businesses, they have seen ups and downs over the past year, buffeted by major changes in tax policy and, more recently, great uncertainty around trade policy.
But more than small-business owners in any other industry, those in retail trade will have to adapt — if they haven't already — to a world that is more reliant on the internet. Among the most common forms of adaptation is Facebook, according to the second-quarter CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey.
Even as Facebook continues to deal with the fallout from its privacy scandal, small-business owners in the retail trade are more likely to maintain (49 percent) or increase (15 percent) than pull back on Facebook advertising. That compares to the group of all small-business owners who plan to maintain (35 percent) their level of Facebook spending or who plan to spend more (11 percent).
Twenty-seven percent of all small-business owners said they plan to pull back on spending, versus 19 percent in the retail trade, the lowest level of pullback among the five sectors for which there are enough respondents to split out sector-level results. Retail businesses are also the most likely to have tried Facebook advertising (57 percent) at some point.
These data come from the second-quarter CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey of 2,048 small-business owners conducted online from April 11–17, 2018.