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Small Business Confidence drops to a new all-time low as inflation and recession concerns continue to plague small business owners: CNBC|SurveyMonkey

Q3 2022 Small Business Confidence Index decreases to a score of 42, four points lower than last quarter and beating the previous all-time low of 43 in Q1 2021  

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. and SAN MATEO, CA, August 3, 2022 — CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, and Momentive, maker of SurveyMonkey and a leader in agile experience management, today announced the results of their quarterly CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey.  

The survey found overall confidence among small business owners at its lowest level since CNBC and SurveyMonkey began surveying them in 2017. The Small Business Confidence Index drops to a score of 42 in the third quarter, four points lower than the second quarter, and a point lower than the previous all-time low hit during the first quarter of 2021. Over half (51%) of small business owners describe the current state of the economy as "poor," up from 44% last quarter.  

The third quarter survey, which was conducted July 25-31, 2022, also finds that just 22% of small business owners say inflation has reached a peak.  Almost half of small business owners (43%) say inflation is the biggest risk to their business right now, a new high over the past year and up from 38% last quarter.  

As the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates in an effort to control rising inflation, the prospect of a recession looms large for America's small business owners. Just 26% of those surveyed say they have confidence in the Fed's ability to get inflation under control. In fact, most small business owners surveyed (57%) say "we're already in a recession," and another 14% expect the US economy to go into a recession before the end of the year. 

With this pessimistic outlook lingering due to inflation and recession concerns, President Biden's approval rating among small business owners is at its lowest level yet, with just thirty-one percent of small business owners approving of the job Biden is doing as president.  

"Inflation now dominates concerns among small business owners, reversing the small gains in confidence we saw last quarter and dampening the overall economic outlook," says Jon Cohen, chief research officer at Momentive. "Whether we are officially in a recession or not, small business owners are feeling the sting of high prices and reporting a new low point in our Small Business Confidence Index."

Each quarter, CNBC and SurveyMonkey poll over 2,000 small business owners aiming to measure the vitality of the American economy as well as the view from Main Street on jobs, taxes, and other hot topics. In addition to measuring small business confidence nationwide, the large sample size gives CNBC and SurveyMonkey the power to uncover trends by geographic region and among specific small business cohorts.   

Additional key findings from the Q3 2022 CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey include:   

Nearly all components of the Small Business Confidence Index worsened quarter-over-quarter:

  • 28% of small business owners expect revenues to decrease over the next 12 months (vs. 21% in Q2).  
  • 18% expect headcounts to decrease over the next 12 months (14% in Q2).  
  • 33% say business conditions are "good" (36% in Q2).  
  • 58% expect changes in regulation to have a negative impact on their business in the next 12 months (55% in Q2).  
  • 62% expect changes in tax policy to have a negative impact on their businesses in the next 12 months (59% in Q2).  

Across the board, economic sentiment among Republican small business owners is worse than it is among Democrat small business owners:   

  • 69% of Republican small business say the US economy is currently in a recession, vs.  34% of Democrats who own small businesses. 
  • 68% of Republicans describe the current state of the economy as "poor," vs. 19% of Democrats. 
  • 11% of Republicans say inflation has peaked, vs. 48% of Democrats.  

COVID-19 worries fade away:   

  • Just 9% of small business owners say Covid is the biggest risk to their business, down from 13% in Q2 and 20% in Q1, during the peak of the "Omicron wave."
  • These results also break along party lines. 17% of Democrat small business owners say Covid is the biggest risk to their businesses, vs. just 5% of Republican small business owners.

CNBC Small Business Reporter Kate Rogers will reveal the results of the CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey today, Wednesday, August 3rd throughout CNBC's Business Day programming. For more information on the survey including the full results and methodology and in-depth articles, go to:    


Momentive created a unique Small Business Confidence Index (SBCI), which is a 100-point score based on responses to eight key questions. The index is calculated on a scale from 0–100 and is based on the responses to eight key questions. A zero indicates no confidence, and a score of 100 indicates perfect confidence. The third quarter of 2022′s SBCI has decreased to an overall value of 42 from 46 in the second quarter.  

This CNBC|SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted July 25-31, 2022 among a national sample of 2,557 self-identified small business owners ages 18 and up. This quarter, we also reached 11,930 individuals who do not own small businesses. Respondents for this survey were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for the results among small business owners and 1.5 percentage points for results among those who do not own small businesses. 

Data for small business statistics have been weighted according to business characteristics (industry and number of employees) according to the Small Business Administration's 2013 Statistics of U.S. Businesses. Additionally, person-level data (age, gender, level of education, race, geography) for business owners have been weighted to the Census Bureau's 2012 Survey of Business Owners.  

For more information contact:  


Jennifer Dauble  



Stephanie Hirlemann  



About CNBC:  

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About Momentive:   

Momentive (NASDAQ: MNTV—maker of SurveyMonkey) is a leader in agile experience management, delivering powerful, purpose-built solutions that bring together the best parts of humanity and technology to redefine AI. Momentive products, including SurveyMonkey and Momentive brand and market insights solutions, empower ​decision-makers at 345,000 organizations worldwide to shape exceptional experiences. Millions of users rely on Momentive to fuel market insights, brand insights, employee experience, customer experience, and product experience. Ultimately, the company's vision is to raise the bar for human experiences by amplifying individual voices. Learn more at