National Score 64.1
In the Northeast, roughly two in five small business owners consider the U.S. (38%) and local (42%) economy to be good. Meanwhile, nearly seven in ten (68%) rate their business’s health as good and a similar number (70%) are comfortable with their cash flow. The most notable increases from last quarter come from the share intending to increase investment over the next year (46% vs. 34%) and those saying they have increased staff over the past year (29% vs 19%).
Perceptions of the small business environment are worse in the South than in the Northeast and the West. Just over one in five (22%) small businesses rate the U.S. economy as good, a decline from last quarter (40%). 35% rate their local economy as good. However, a majority (56%) consider the health of their business as good. Two-thirds indicate they retained the same staff size over the past year (66%), are comfortable with their cash flow (66%), and expect next year’s revenue to increase (65%).
Over one in four (26%) Midwestern businesses rate the U.S. economy as good, while 35% rate their local economy as good. 58% say their business’s health is good. Seven in ten (71%) say they are comfortable with their cash flow. In terms of the future, one-third (32%) say they intend to increase staff over the next year, while six in ten (60%) say they intend to retain the same staff size—up 13 percentage points from last quarter.
Compared to last quarter, more small businesses in the West are comfortable with their cash flow (75% vs. 58%). Roughly one in three businesses in the West rate the U.S. economy as good (34%), while 46% rate their local economy as good. Two in three (66%) say their business’s health is good, putting them at the top of the range, along with those in the Northeast. A majority (55%) say the amount of time they spend on compliance has remained the same (up 10 percentage points from Q4 2021).