Survey: 20% of Small Business Owners Say They’re Undecided in 2024 Election

Small business owners see dramatic increase in the cost of doing business, report significant inflationary impact on the costs of labor, goods, capital, rent and insurance; 49% say they’ve had to raise their prices in the last three months

During National Small Business Week, new survey data from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices shows small business owners are watching this year’s election closely with 96% saying they will definitely or probably vote in November. Notably, 20% of small business owners say they’re undecided on who they will support for President, compared to just 12% of the general public declaring themselves undecided in recent public polls.

Further, small business owners do not feel candidates for president are talking enough about small business issues. Fifty-five percent say they’re dissatisfied with the way candidates have been addressing small business issues, with just 27% saying they are satisfied. Small business owners do not believe the following issues are being sufficiently addressed by candidates: inflationary pressures (73% cited), small business tax policy (72% cited), regulatory burden on small businesses (70% cited), access to affordable capital (66% cited) and workforce training (59% cited). 78% said a candidate's small business policy position is an important factor as they decide how to vote in the 2024 elections.

“America’s small business owners today are experiencing operating costs that are increasingly unaffordable,” said Jessica Johnson-Cope, President of Johnson Security Bureau in The Bronx, New York. “Small business owners are resilient, and most are enduring despite the challenges. As campaign season kicks off, small business owners want policymakers and candidates to focus on issues that improve the small business climate because small business is America’s future.”

Additional findings from the survey include that small business owners across the country are reporting significant inflationary impacts on the costs of doing business. Compared to just three months ago, 71% say inflationary pressures have increased on their businesses and 49% say they’ve had to raise the prices on their goods or services over that period.

According to the survey, small business owners say the rising costs of the following items are having a significant impact on their cost of doing business:

  • 81% - Rising cost of labor
  • 68% - Increasing cost of commercial insurance
  • 67% - Rising cost of goods and inputs
  • 63% - Increasing costs related to employee benefits and health insurance
  • 57% - Rising cost of accessing capital
  • 48% - Increasing cost of rent

Even in the wake of this persistent rise in the cost of doing business, 64% report their business is operating at or above pre-pandemic levels, and 31% believe the U.S. economy is “good” or “excellent,” while 39% describe it as “fair.”

The nationwide survey of 1,259 small business owners was taken April 15-20, 2024. Respondents came from 47 U.S. States, Puerto Rico, Guam and Washington, D.C. For more information on the survey, please visit:

About 10,000 Small Businesses Voices

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices, which in April marked its four-year anniversary, builds on Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and organizes program participants to advocate for policies that matter to them. Learn more at

About Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is an investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing a comprehensive business education program and access to capital and business support services. To date, 10,000 Small Businesses has served over 15,000 small businesses across the United States. The program has reached businesses from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. Learn more at

About Goldman Sachs

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global financial institution that delivers a broad range of financial services to a large and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world.


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