Study: Public confidence in small business is at an all-time high

People in the U.S. trust small business far more than big business.

People in the U.S. trust small business far more than big business.

Highlights

  • According to poll, small businesses are among the most trusted institutions in the U.S.
  • American confidence in small business has never been higher
  • 5x more Americans have a “great deal” of confidence in small businesses compared to big businesses

Small business has always been a major force in the U.S., accounting for two-thirds of all net-new jobs since 1970. Today, the country’s 28 million small businesses are responsible for more than half of all domestic sales and employment, and now it appears public confidence in the small business sector is at historic levels.

Last summer, Gallup conducted a poll to gauge confidence in American institutions, such as the news media, police, banks, religious institutions, and more. According to the survey, 2 in 3 Americans have high confidence in small businesses, good enough for second-place behind only the military. Take a look at Gallup’s full rankings:

Gallup_trust_levels

In fact, overall confidence in small business has never been higher in the poll’s history. Although Gallup’s collection history for small business is spotty, the index does show sentiment data for every year over the past decade, plus a few additional years in the late 1990s. The 68% of respondents who said they trust small businesses “a great deal” or “quite a lot” is the top mark among all recordings:

gallup_trust_small_business

It gets better. If you scroll back up to the first chart, you’ll see that only 18% of Americans have high trust in big business, putting it near the bottom of the list, right between newspapers and congress — the least-trusted group on the list. That’s a near-historic low for big business, just a few points higher than its rock-bottom rating of 16% confidence in June 2009, when the subprime mortgage crisis and Great Recession were putting a ton of heat on the image of large enterprises. Take a look:

gallup_trust_big_business

It’s a great time to be a small business owner, and Main Street merchants have never been better poised for a powerful and prolonged renaissance. At Womply, we believe the natural advantages of small businesses — including high-touch customer service and one-of-a-kind products and services — are becoming increasingly valuable to consumers. Turns out the data — and a majority of Americans — agree with us.