Small business confidence ticked up in the third quarter of the year, to 53 from a record low of 49 in Q2, according to the CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey. Even with the rebound, the confidence reading is the second-lowest score in the survey’s history and eight points off where confidence stood to start the year.
Just 36% of businesses say that current operating conditions are “good” in this quarter’s survey, which is a major improvement from last quarter’s 18%. But nearly one-fourth say conditions are bad — three times the number who said conditions were poor to kick off the year.
The survey was conducted from July 20-27 among more than 2,000 small business owners nationwide.
“I think that small business owners see that economics are opening and we are not going to be moving backwards,” said Karen Kerrigan, president and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, a Main Street advocacy group. “They see a light at the end of the tunnel.”