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Small Business Optimism Remains Near Record Lows

Small business optimism remains near record lows, as small business owners believe that inflation, supply chain problems and tax increases pose serious threats to small business, according to a Friday poll by the Job Creator’s Network Foundation (JCNF).

The poll’s Small Business IQ, an index of overall small business optimism, slightly increased to 52.8 in July compared to 52.7 in June. The index, scored out of one hundred, has fallen by nearly 17 points since last year, with this month’s rebound accounted for by a small increase in future expectations.

“The White House and its allies in Congress are poised to greenlight the misnamed ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ later this week,” said Elaine Parker, president of the JCNF, in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “It couldn’t come at a worse time; rising prices are already squeezing Mainstreet and small business sentiment remains near an index record low. House members should consider this small business perspective before rubber stamping the tax and spend package.”

The poll randomly sampled 500 small business owners about the condition of the U.S. economy, with 26% describing it as “good” or “excellent” with 34% describing it as “poor.” Inflation is the primary concern for small business owners, with it being the first or second main concern of 48% of small business owners, the highest in the poll’s history.

In June, 31% of small businesses said that they had raised prices, compared to 49% in July, according to the poll. 78% of small business owners told the JCNF that they had already or anticipated having to raise prices.

80% of respondents said that the Biden administration wasn’t doing enough to combat inflation, according to the poll. 56% of respondents said that current conditions might force them to close, but the number skyrockets for minority and female-owned businesses who report concerns about closing at a rate of 73% and 76% respectively.

The poll follows the release of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on Wednesday and the Producer Price Index (PPI) Thursday, each of which indicated that the price of non-energy goods was continuing to go up. According to the CPI, the price of food and all items other than food and energy rose 1.1% and 0.3% respectively.

President Joe Biden ended the sixth quarter of his presidency, which spans April 20 to July 19, with an average approval rating of just 40%, the lowest results on record for a first term president, according to Gallup.

The JCNF poll had a margin of error of 4.4% at a 95% confidence interval.

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