Study Finds 9 Out of 10 Small Business Owners Believe Benefits Outweigh Challenges

The Allstate/USA Today Small Business Barometer, a custom online survey issued to small business owners across the country in order to capture their personal sentiments and provide a multi-dimensional snapshot of the current small business environment, found that nearly 90 percent of small business owners believe the benefits of owning a small business outweigh the challenges.

A first-of-its-kind comprehensive profile of the small business environment across the nation and 25 of our largest cities, the Barometer combines a national survey of small business owners with federal data to yield eight key indicators and an overall profile measure. Some of the critical findings of the study include:

  • 79 percent of small business owners reported that in the past three months, their businesses have grown the same as or more than in the same period last year, and 53 percent believe there has never been a better time to own a small business.
  • Over 50 percent of small business owners have tried a new business practice over the past three months with 38 percent trying new technologies, showing the capacity to innovate and adapt even in the face of serious challenges such as significant financial pressures.
  • Almost 50 percent of small business owners have sacrificed their own salary for the good of the business in recent months and 40 percent frequently forgo spending time with family and friends.
  • Over 36 percent of small business owners report that recruiting new clients or customers is one of the biggest problems facing their business today while fewer list taxes or government regulation as a major challenge.
  • 64 percent of small business owners think their businesses will do well next year, while over 70 percent of female and minority small business owners say the same despite the added challenges that women and minorities face.

The survey of small business owners was conducted on behalf of Allstate by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research from November 4th-22nd, 2015. Survey respondents included small business owners nationally, ages 18-75, each being owners or part-owners of a business or franchise with annual revenues greater than $25,000 and between 1 and 100 employees. This survey included a representative national sample of 500 small business owners in 25 media markets across the country for a total of 2,640 completed interviews.

The Barometer assigns scores between 0 and 100 for eight indicators that influence the business climate, as well as a combined score. The eight indicators are: capital, commodities, customers, innovation, technology, labor, optimism and regulations. Data related to labor, capital, commodities and customers reflect a combination of public data sources and proprietary survey results, while barometer scores for innovation, regulation, optimism and technology reflect data exclusively obtained from the Allstate survey of small business owners.

The Allstate/USA Today Small Business Barometer provides information about the small business climate in the United States and 25 of its largest markets. Built from a unique proprietary data model, the Barometer combines the findings from a custom in-depth survey of small business owners and existing public data to provide an experiential tool with insight into fundamental small business indicators and sentiment. For more information about the study, please visit