A survey by Metlife and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows businesses remain concerned about the economy and it’s their top election issue.
The survey, known as the Small Business Index, found business owners are still hurting from the economic ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. Seventy-eight percent of respondents consider the economy as “average,” “somewhat poor,” or “very poor,” in August. That’s a 7% increase from July.
The report also showed business owners’ positivity varied significantly by industry sectors. According to the survey, just over 1 in 3 retailers feel their business is in good health. However, companies in the service industry are more optimistic about the future.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents in the service industry said their business health is good. That’s higher when compared to retail (37%) and manufacturing (47%). These results give more validity to the thought of a K-shaped economic recovery to the pandemic where some industries rebound quickly while others continue to suffer.
The survey also found most owners are optimistic about 2021. Fifty-two percent of respondents predict an increase in their revenue next year. In fact, only 16% of respondents expect to see a decrease in next year’s revenue. Twenty-five percent of business owners expect their revenue to stay around the same.
“The pandemic has had an uneven economic impact on industries and workers, many of whom are small
business owners. It’s no wonder their driving issue for the upcoming election is the economy,” Neil
Bradley, chief policy officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said. “We are now in a K-shaped recovery, where many small businesses face severe long-term challenges. We need our elected leaders to come together and provide targeted relief to the industries and small businesses who have been the most deeply impacted. Inaction is simply unacceptable.”
After the economy, owners cite taxes (27%), the coronavirus pandemic (25%), and healthcare (25%) as the most concerning 2020 election issues.