Small Business Scores Number One in Public Confidence, and with Strong Bipartisan Support

By at 20 July, 2021, 3:22 pm


The various institutions of American life generally have suffered in terms of how Americans view them. Well, thankfully, except small business.

The latest Gallup poll gauging Americans’ confidence in U.S. institutions – specifically,  “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence – shows that small business topped the list at 70 percent.

Running a razor-close second was the military at 69 percent.

However, after small business and the military, the next in line drops notably, with the police coming in at 51 percent. In fact, these three were the only institutions to hit at least the 50 percent mark.

(SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan talks about these findings in the latest Growth Without Barriers podcast. Listen here.)

After the police, fourth was the medical system earning a high degree of confidence among 44 percent of Americans. That, unfortunately, was down by seven percentage points compared to 51 percent in the poll last year.

What institution ranks at the bottom? You may have guessed it: Congress, which came in at 12 percent.

Finally, there is another positive note to highlight when it comes to small business. There actually exists strong bipartisan support for small business. Among Democrats, small business earned the highest level of confidence among institutions at 64 percent, and small business came in second (just behind the military) among Republicans at 76 percent.

If we’re serious about healing the partisan divide in this nation, perhaps we should turn to small business, and more deeply explore why both Democrats and Republicans agree in having high degrees of confidence in entrepreneurial undertakings.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.


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