Small Business Update: SMBs confidence soars amid economic challenges

Small business owners are feeling more confident about their businesses despite today’s inflation, according to The Q2 MetLife and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index. In fact, the index score has now hit its highest score since 2019. Joining us on the latest episode of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Update to discuss this further is Tom Sullivan, the Vice President of Small Business Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Key Takeaways 

1. The Q2 MetLife and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index shows a remarkable rise in confidence among small business owners, reaching its highest score since 2019. This is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of small businesses in managing their cash flows despite ongoing economic challenges such as inflation and high interest rates.

2. Small business owners are not just optimistic, they are highly so about their revenue prospects for the next 12 months, with a staggering 73% expressing bullish expectations. This level of positivity is not just high, it’s the highest recorded since the index began seven years ago, indicating a strong confidence in post-election economic stability and growth opportunities.

3. Despite the increased confidence, small businesses continue to face significant challenges. Inflation remains a top concern, along with the high costs of goods, hiring, and borrowing. There is a notable disparity between the positive outlook on individual business performance and the more cautious view of the national economy, with only 34% of small businesses having a positive outlook on the broader economic environment.

4. The upcoming presidential election is temporarily halting economic activities, with businesses adopting a wait-and-see approach. However, there is an underlying optimism that the economic environment will stabilize after the election, allowing businesses to expand, hire new employees, and meet increased demand.

5. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce continues to recognize and celebrate the resilience of small businesses through initiatives like the Co-100 annual small business contest. This contest aims to honor the most impressive small businesses in the country, with a record number of applicants this year. It highlights the pride and determination of small business owners in showcasing their achievements.

"Small businesses are showing unbelievable resilience, and the index went up a little bit because of confidence in cash flows. This really shows the resiliency of main street employers." – Tom Sullivan.