Regional Scores

The Midwest Rises while Southern Optimism Growth Slows

South Region

  • Southern small business owners are the most optimistic about their future revenue – 7 in 10 (69%) expect their revenue to increase over the next year.
  • Small business sentiment toward both the local and national economy have softened since last quarter (41% and 43% compared to 52% and 61% in Q1).

Midwest Region

  • The Midwest region was the mostly likely to rate the health of the national economy as good (51%).
  • Midwestern small businesses are also more likely to view their company’s cash flow as good (87%) compared to the country’s average (79%).

Northeast Region

  • Small businesses in the Northeast (54%) are least likely to expect an increase in revenue over the next year.
  • The Northeast (46%) is feeling less confident in the U.S. economy compared to last quarter.

West Region

  • Business owners in the West were the most likely to view their local economy as good (55%) compared to the country average (48%).
  • Western small business owners are also more likely to increase investment (33%) than the national average (28%) and are looking to increase staff (36%) at a greater rate than the rest of the country (32%).

The rise in the overall Small Business Index sentiment was led by entrepreneurs in the Midwest, which jumped to the top of the four regions surveyed after coming in third last quarter. The Midwest region was also the mostly likely to rate the health of the national economy as good (51%), and its small business owners are most likely to view their company’s cash flow as good (87%) compared to the national average (79%).

While Midwestern businesses had a stronger outlook on the U.S. economy, small business owners in the West were the most likely to view their local economy as good (55%) compared to the country average (48%). Western small business owners are also more likely to increase investment (33%) than the national average (28%) and are looking to increase staff (36%) at a greater rate than the rest of the country (32%).

Although small business owners’ sentiment in the South toward business health and the economy (both local and national) have softened since last quarter, Southern businesses still have a more positive economic outlook than they did a year ago. They also remain the most optimistic about their future revenue – seven in 10 (69%) small business owners in the South expect their revenue to increase over the next year.