Small Business Presidential Survey

Survey Summary: Small Business Presidential Perception

  • February 13th, 2017
  • Matt Hilton

Presidential Approval Rating Low, but Owners Still Remain Optimistic About Outlook of their Business

Download the Survey Summary

The beginning of Donald Trump’s tenure as president has been met with controversy, but his campaign and recent actions have called attention to a vital part of the American Dream – small businesses. However, small business owners are not united on their perception of the 45th President.

Recently, Lendio conducted a survey of more than 330 U.S. small business owners with 250 employees or less to get a better sense of how they believe Trump’s presidency will impact their business. The study found that since Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 53 percent of small business owners do not approve of his performance. Overall, only 27 percent of small business owners approve of Trump’s performance during his first days in office.

But if approval is low and the outlook is optimistic, what are small business owners concentrating on? Despite the majority disapproving of his performance, the most important aspect of Trump’s presidency for small business owners is how it will impact their business and the economy as a whole. Votes were cast and the results are in.


Small business owners are unsure and split on how the Trump administration will affect their business:

survey results trump's economic impact on small buinesses

The economic outlook isn’t positive for small business owners, with 56 percent believing the economy will be the same or worse at the close of Trump’s first term, compared to 44 percent who think it will be better. The positive outlook increases significantly among Trump’s supporters:

Despite the majority having a negative economic outlook, small business owners are still optimistic about the state of their own business, with 62 percent planning to hire additional employees in the next six months However, there’s a split between those who supported Trump in the election and those who didn’t:

  • 71 percent of small business owners who voted for Trump plan to hire additional employees in the next six months
  • Only 53 percent of respondents who didn’t vote for Trump plan to hire • 67 percent plan to expand their business beyond hiring
  • Trump supporters are more likely to expand their business (72 percent) when compared to those who didn’t support Trump (63 percent)
  • 37 percent of small business owners believe capital will be easier to access under a Trump administration
  • Of small business owners who voted for Trump, 74 percent think capital will be easier to access, compared to only 10 percent who didn’t vote for Trump

Trump’s most attractive qualities to small business owners were:

Trump’s least attractive qualities to small business owners were:

  • 55% Lack of respect for certain groups
  • 52% His temperament
  • 49% Lack of political experience
  • 49% His poor understanding of facts
  • 48% Policy positions

Another statute impacting small businesses is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

  • 52 percent of small business owners hope the ACA is not repealed and replaced
  • Of the respondents who don’t want Obamacare repealed and replaced, 55 percent feel that health insurance should be widely available, and 52 percent don’t want people to lose their health insurance coverage
  • 48 percent hope it is repealed and replaced
  • Of the respondents who answered that they would like to see Obamacare repealed and replaced. The most common reason is because they believe it isn’t working (43 percent)


The January 2017 study collected responses via an online survey of more than 330 random small business owners located in the U.S. with 250 employees or less. This research was generated by Lendio in partnership with Qualtrics.


Lendio is a free online service that helps business owners find the right small business loans within minutes. The center of small business lending, our passion is fueling the American Dream by uniting the small business loan industry and bringing all options together in one place, from short-term specialty financing to long-term low-interest traditional loans. Our technology makes small business lending simple, decreasing the amount of time and effort it takes to secure funding. More information about Lendio is available at

About the Author

  • Matt Hilton

Matt is a digital marketer and writer. He has a passion for entrepreneurship and for helping small businesses. He's worked with multiple startups and has helped dozens of small businesses with their online marketing. If he's not in the office, he's either out fishing or spending time with his wife and daughter.