The latest Small Business Index update shows strong confidence and little concern over tariffs

New data from US financial services provider Wells Fargo shows US business owners across a broad spectrum of sectors reporting continuing revenue growth while demonstrating little concern that their businesses could be impacted by American trade policies.

The latest update to the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index reveals that confidence among US business owners remains high, with 58% of survey respondents reporting revenue increases over the past 12 months and 64% expecting further increases in the coming year. A full 70% of businesses surveyed said they would describe the US economy as “good” or “excellent”, while the number of business owners who felt the economy is on the right track for them to continue to grow their business over the coming 12 months increased by 10 points to 61%.

“Aside from providing a snapshot of the landscape for business owners, the Small Business Index gives us a chance to see how these owners are responding to the economy and how they need to be supported moving forward,” said Wells Fargo small business segment and strategy leader, Casey Dorsey. “Gaining insights into business owners’ key challenges and their expectations for growth provide a glimpse of their business or market, and also the economy as a whole.”

While tariffs remain a sensitive subject among manufacturers in the recreational boating industry, international trade issues appear to be less of a concern across other business sectors. A full two-thirds (66%) of US business owners surveyed by Wells Fargo indicated that they do not believe that the current trade and tariff situation will directly affect their business. When asked if the current trade situation would affect their business decisions, 76% of survey respondents said their near-future hiring plans would not change even if the cost of goods increased, while 69% said they would not change any expansion plans even if tariffs result in an increased cost of goods. The survey also asked how closely owners followed news about trade and tariff policies; 82% said they were following it “somewhat” or “very” closely.

“While news and changes in trade and tariff policies traditionally affect larger companies more heavily, it is notable that small business owners continue to make improvements in the current climate,” said Wells Fargo senior economist, Mark Vitner. “While there are certainly concerns of the effects of current interaction with the global economy, this data indicates a continued level of resilience in the US economy and specifically among small business owners.”

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