Nearly half give administration an "A" or "B" for its
first year performance
Congress gets much lower marks
Owners say administration has done best on the economy and creating jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- About half of U.S. small-business owners give the current
presidential administration a grade of A or B for its performance on issues
that have been important to their businesses over the past year. This
is significantly higher than the percentage of respondents who gave high
marks to state government, the Supreme Court and Congress. At the same
time, more than a third of owners give the administration a grade of D
or F, reflecting the polarized nature of politics today.
Half of Small Business Owners Give Administration A or B Grade
What grade would you give each of the following in terms of their performance
on issues that have been important to your business over the past year:
A, B, C, D, or F?
Current presidential administration in Washington D.C.
Your state government
Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, Jan. 3-9, 2018
These results are from the latest quarterly update of the Wells Fargo/Gallup
Small Business Index survey conducted Jan. 3-9, before the brief government
shutdown over the weekend of Jan. 20-22.
Clearly many small-business owners are positive about the administration's
performance on issues that have been important to their business over
the past year, echoing
previous research showing owners' positive feelings for the business-friendly Trump
administration. While small-business owners are positive toward the business-friendly
Trump administration, they have little regard for the performance of Congress,
even though both branches are under GOP control.
The Supreme Court and state government garner fewer very high and very
low grades than the administration and Congress do. Not as many owners
rate their state government or the Supreme Court with A's or B's
as is the case for the administration, but owners also do not give the
Supreme Court or the administration the same level of failing grades as
the executive and legislative branches. More than three in 10 owners give
their state government and the Supreme Court "C" grades.
The latest results come as
small-business owners' overall optimism is as high as it has been since before the 2008/2009 recession, buoyed
by their self-reports of strong revenue, improved cash flow and increased
capital spending for their businesses.
Wells Fargo and Gallup also asked small-business owners to rate the Trump
administration's performance on 10 different political and economic
issues. The results vary widely, indicating that owners are distinguishing
between areas of solid administration accomplishment versus areas where
the results have been less evident.
Owners are most likely to give the administration a "good" rating
on its ability to
improve the overall economy and to
create jobs. Half of owners also give the administration a good rating for
tax reform targeted specifically at small business, and for its efforts on
Slightly less than half give a good rating for
overall tax reform and for dealing with
regulations impacting small business.
The remaining four issues receive less positive ratings. Owners are more
likely to give the administration a poor than a good rating for its handling of
international relations, infrastructure improvements and
Owners Give Administration Highest Marks for Economy, Jobs
As a small business owner, please rate the job the current presidential
administration is doing since taking office in January 2017 on each of
the following issues?
Improving the overall economy
Tax reform impacting small business owners specifically
Overall tax reform
Regulation reform impacting small business owners
Incentives for opening a small business
Infrastructure improvements such as roads and bridges
Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, Jan. 3-9, 2018
These ratings generally reflect the reality of the policy and economic
situations in 2017. Multiple attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable
Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare, failed during the year, there
was little progress on an infrastructure plan and U.S. relations with
other countries were strained. On the other hand, record high stock market
indices and low unemployment were clear signs of a strong economy. Small-business
owners also appear to recognize the efforts of Donald Trump and the Republican
Congress in passing major tax reform legislation that promised big tax
breaks for businesses.
Small-business owners have been bullish on the new administration since
the November 2016 election, evidenced by the
sharp increase in owners' overall optimism measured by the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index. These current
results show more directly that owners tend to view the performance of
the administration in positive light, although this praise is not universal.
President Trump appears to have carved out an image among small-business
owners that is distinctly more positive than that of Congress, which gets
the most negative ratings of the four government entities measured. This
pattern mirrors the
low esteem in which Congress is held by the population in general.
Owners appear cognizant of the specific areas in which the administration
did well in 2017 -- an improved economy, job creation, tax reform -- and
likely will remain equally as or more positive about the administration
if it is able to address other pressing problems in the year ahead.
Results are based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 603 U.S.
small-business owners in all 50 states, conducted Jan. 3-9, 2018. The
margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
For more information about Wells Fargo Works for Small Business, visit
http://wellsfargoworks.com/. Follow us on Twitter @WellsFargoWorks.