Capital One Small Business Growth Index

Business Owner Insights


say a recession would impact their business


say the 2020 presidential election will have an impact on their business


of business owners plan to hire in the next six months


say their business has a mission-driven or community initiative

*of business owners with $1-10 million in revenue

Business optimism remains steady despite recession concerns.

Sixty-four percent of business owners say current business conditions are good or excellent, but nearly half are concerned a recession will impact their business success in the next year.

Business owners say a recession would impact their businesses in a variety of ways:

65 say they would be more conservative with inventory and supply management

61 say it would negatively impact cash flow

59 say it would decrease sales


are concerned that a recession will impact the overall success of their company within the next 12 months


say they are prepared for a recession from a cash flow perspective

Hiring plans remain steady, as some business owners focus on retention.

Nearly a third (30%) of business owners plan to hire in the next six months, while two-thirds (69%) are focused on company culture.

How are business owners competing for talent?

Competitive salaries

Marketing as a great place to work

Flexible work environment

How big of an impact does company culture have on business success?

33 say a major impact
25 say a moderate impact
18 say a minor impact

Business owners are keeping an eye on the 2020 Election.

Even though the election is a year away, more than half of business owners feel it will have an impact on their company.


say the current presidential administration is on the right track as it relates to their business


say upcoming presidential election will have an impact on their business


say policies which impact businesses are top of mind for upcoming presidential election

Mission-driven initiatives have a positive impact on businesses.

While only a third of business owners have initiatives, those who do say it helps attract and retain customers and keep them motivated as a business owner.


of businesses have a mission-driven or community impact initiative

What are these initiatives tied to?

62 donate money
50 volunteer in their community
39 do pro bono work


of businesses with a community impact initiative say it helps boost public perception of their company

“It is an interesting point in time for business owners: while the economy has been relatively strong and they remain optimistic, they are also concerned about a potential recession and uncertain about the impact of the 2020 presidential election.”
— Brad Jiulianti, Capital One Small Business Card

About the Survey

Capital One’s Fall 2019 Small Business Growth Index Survey was conducted by the market research and business intelligence firm Engine (formerly ORC International).

For this telephone study, Engine interviewed a national sample of 500 for-profit small businesses in the U.S. Small businesses are defined as those with a total annual revenue less than $10 million.

Interviews were conducted from July 29-August 22, 2019. One respondent per business was interviewed.

The margin of error is +/- 4.38 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.

Want more information?
Get in touch with the Capital One Small Business PR Team.

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