Survey: U.S. Small Business Owners Worried About Economy

A survey of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) shows business owners are much more optimistic about their own industries and operations than the economy in general. The Future of Business Survey, conducted by Facebook in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Bank, collects data from SMEs around the world.

The latest survey reports 56 percent of U.S. business owners are confident in their own company and 45 percent are confident in their industry. But when it comes to the economy in general, the business owners’ confidence rate drops to just 22 percent.

The greatest business challenges reported by SMEs across the board include attracting customers, increasing revenue, maintaining profitability, tax laws and rules and retaining and recruiting employees.

Around the globe, business owners are even more downcast about the larger economy. In Canada, only 9 percent of entrepreneurs reported economic confidence; British SMEs were even less optimistic at 6 percent. Mexican small businesses are the most pessimistic of all with a -23 percent confidence rate.

The report also reveals that women small business owners and the owners of mid-size and larger SMEs remain more positive than their counterparts. Among solo entrepreneurs, the confidence rate dropped to 14 percent in February, down from 22 percent in December.

The Future of Business Survey is aimed at small business owners across the world that have an active Facebook business page. These include both startups and established businesses in a variety of industries. The survey, launched in February 2016, provides monthly data on the perceptions, challenges and outlook of SMEs in 33 countries.

“As we’ve grown the number of small businesses active on Facebook, we had a really interesting opportunity to create a panel of small businesses that we don’t think almost anyone else in the world could have done,” said Dan Levy, Facebook vice president of small business.

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About the author

Melanie King
A storyteller since first grade, Melanie King has shaped a career around writing engaging narratives—though her illustrations haven’t improved much since age 6. As a reporter and editor, Melanie has written about everything from retail and tourism trends to economic development for regional newspapers, trade publications, and national magazines. As Lendio’s Director of Public Relations, she specializes in reporting fintech industry news and its impact on American small businesses. Melanie has a B.A. in Journalism from Brigham Young University. She is also a backpacker, runner, and mom of four.


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