New Poll: Small Business Sentiment Tumbles, Spooked by Inflation and Vaccine Mandate


November 9, 2021

Washington, D.C. (November 9, 2021)—Today, the Job Creators Network Foundation (JCNF) released its October Monthly Monitor poll of 500 small business owners. The poll’s Small Business Intelligence Quotient (SBIQ), an index tracking overall small business optimism, continued to spiral for the third consecutive month to 54.3—yet another record series low.

Among concerns, small business owners are hesitant about the vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more workers that was recently finalized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). A majority of polled entrepreneurs say that employers shouldn’t be forced to police the vaccine requirement for workers. Forty-four percent of respondents noted they would lose employees if the rule goes into effect. JCN recently filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on behalf of the small business community to block the mandate. Find out more about the legal action here.

Other key takeaways include:

  • Small business owners are increasingly pessimistic about the economy as the SBIQ continues to drop.
  • Businesses are seriously concerned with inflation, with 40% of respondents saying it was one of their biggest concerns. This is almost double the next biggest concern and a big jump from September.
  • A majority of small business employers don’t think that employers should be responsible for enforcing vaccine mandates.
  • Small businesses and the public don’t want the IRS to have access to their bank account.
  • Small businesses expect to have to raise wages soon. That means they think inflation will continue and worker shortages will continue.

View more polling details and crosstabs hereView historical data here.

Elaine Parker, President of the Job Creators Network Foundation, released the following statement:

Small business sentiment continues to tumble as more people find out what many already know: The Biden administration’s economic plan isn’t working. In fact, it’s backfiring and actively depressing small business optimism. Recent passage of the trillion dollar “infrastructure in name alone” package will only fuel inflationary pressures, and yet another even bigger spending boondoggle is on the horizon. Moreover, the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate threatens to exacerbate current labor shortages and break the already broken supply chain further. The unpopularity of the White House’s current policy agenda among small business owners should be a wake-up call. It’s time for policymakers in Washington to reverse course.