Just 18% of Small Businesses Say Business is “Good” Right Now

q2 cnbc surveymonkey small business confidence

Business confidence has nosedived in the US, with just 18% of small business owners admitting business is currently “good”. CNBC/SurveyMonkey’s Q2 Small Business Survey reveals plunging confidence among small businesses as coronavirus takes its toll.

Q2 CNBC SurveyMonkey Small Business Confidence

The CNBC and SurveyMonkey quarterly poll surveyed over 2,000 small business owners to gauge an understanding of the US economy. The Q2 survey found that small business confidence has dropped to an all-time low. Less than 1 in 5 small business owners describe business as being “good” right now. This is down from 56% who said business was good in the first quarter of 2020. 43% of participants said conditions are currently “bad.” This figure had never gone above 11% in previous small business surveys.

Payroll Protection Loans

Another key finding is that over 75% of small businesses with five or more employees have applied for Payroll Protection Loans. Payroll Protection Loans are issued from the Small Business Administration. 20% of the businesses which have applied for the loans have received funds, the survey found.

The survey shows the detrimental effects that pandemic has had on small businesses in the United States. It also highlights the importance of small businesses being aware of the support available such as Payroll Protection Loans.

Business Confidence Plummeting

Commenting on the report’s findings, Jon Cohen, chief research officer at SurveyMonkey, said: “The totality of the quarter-to-quarter change is unlike anything we’ve ever seen, with every marker of confidence plummeting at once. Small business owners overwhelmingly see the pandemic as having permanent effects on the way they operate; the buoyant expectations from Q1 have been entirely upended.”

Business Owners Cut Their Own Pay

72% of the small business owners surveyed said the pandemic is likely to have permanent effects on business operations. 36% said they have had to cut their own pay in the wake of the health crisis. Around a quarter of the small business participants said they have had to lay off or furlough staff.

Over half of small business owners expect to reinstate furloughed staff when things return to “normal”. A minority of those interviewed (7%) describe the pandemic as having brought opportunity. Such opportunity involves businesses modifying their services or products to help fight the outbreak.

Importance of Business Support and Funding

The findings of this Q2 CNBC/SurveyMonkey report provides valuable insight to how small businesses are faring in the US during the ongoing crisis. The outlook might make depressing reading, but it is important for small businesses to know they are not alone. There are resources and funding available that could prove to be an invaluable lifeline during these difficult times.


Image: Depositphotos.com

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Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends based in the United Kingdom. Since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".

2 Reactions
  1. There is a small subset of businesses that are thriving in the pandemic. Otherwise, the situation is very taxing on most businesses because it has dramatically altered both consumer sentiment/confidence as well as behavior. And since it’s a one-off situation, there really isn’t any prior experience/data to lean on. Everyone is fumbling around in the dark.

  2. That’s a rather small percentage. But this may also mean there are more opportunities for new businesses to spring up.