National Score 66.8
In the Northeast, 68% rate their business’s health as good, while slightly more say they are comfortable with their cash flow compared to last quarter (76% vs 70%). However, the intensity with which business owners feel optimistic has softened. The share saying their business’s health is very good and that they feel very comfortable with cash flow has declined by double digits. Instead, more report feeling somewhat good and somewhat comfortable, respectively.
Along with the Midwest (21%), small businesses in the South (25%) are less optimistic about the U.S. economy than in the West (35%) and Northeast (40%). However, they are more optimistic about their local economy’s health (37%) and the health of their business (69%). This marks a 13-percentage point increase in perceptions of business health compared to last quarter. These shifts bring the South up to par with the Northeast and West on perceptions of small business health this quarter.
Fewer (25%) Midwestern small businesses rate their local economy as good compared to those in the South (37%), West (41%), and Northeast (45%). The percentage of Midwestern small businesses that have increased their staff in the last year is lower than all other regions, and they are less comfortable (57%) than those in the South (69%) and Northeast (68%) with their business’s health. However, Midwestern small business owners state that they are more likely to increase staff (46%) in the next year than they were in Q1 2022 (32%).
Two in three (66%) small business owners in the West report their business is in good health, on par with last quarter. However, these perceptions have softened, with a 14-percentage point drop in those saying their business’s health is very good and a 12-percentage point increase of those saying their business’s health is somewhat good. Compared to Q1 2022, more Western small businesses have increased staff in the past year (29% vs. 15%) and plan to increase in the next year (48% vs. 37%).