NRF Retail Small Business Owner Survey 2017

The State of Retail Small Businesses

Retail small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy. For the second year, NRF commissioned a survey of small business retailers to gauge their views on the overall economic environment, the health of their individual businesses and whether the public policies that shape their operating environment are supporting or hindering their prospects for growth.

Retail small business owners feel positive about their business for the coming year. They see a future with fewer regulatory hurdles, but they’re being cautious. The threat of a Border Adjustment Tax, the proposed removal of limits to how high banks can raise swipe fees and uncertainties around health care reform are just a few of the issues keeping small business owners up at night.

Only 34 percent of retail small business owners surveyed think the government has a good understanding of their business.

The survey was conducted online by GfK from April 26 to May 14, 2017, among 754 retail small business owners. To qualify, small business owners had to meet SBA size standards with regards to employee size and revenue category that define a small business for their specific NAICS code. These respondents represented a balance among demographic factors including gender, age, political ideology (liberal, moderate or conservative) and geographic location.