Rampant Crime Is Increasingly Taking Its Toll On America’s Small Businesses, New Survey Reveals

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Nearly one-third of small business employers in January said that crime has raised everyday business costs, according to a Job Creators Network Foundation (JCNF) poll obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Around 31% of small businesses surveyed in January said that neighborhood crime has increased business costs through added expenses associated with extra security or stolen inventory, with employers in the western U.S. being the most likely to say they were affected at 35%, according to the poll. Businesses with $100,000 to $250,000 in revenue in a year were the most likely to say that neighborhood crime has increased business costs, with 53% saying yes, followed by businesses with less than $100,000 in revenue at 47%.

“With historic inflation over the past three years, other challenges facing Main Street employers have often not been top of mind,” Elaine Parker, president of the Job Creators Network Foundation, told the DCNF. “Lawlessness on the streets of American cities is one example. Our polling shows that nearly one-third of small businesses with a brick-and-mortar location are facing higher costs because of crime. The findings should emphasize to lawmakers that soft-on-crime policies have a significant spillover effect on the economy.”

The small business intelligence quotient, which measures small business employers’ outlook on the economic conditions out of 100 points, ticked up to 56.3 points in January, up slightly from 54.3 points in the prior month, according to the poll. Around 48% of small business employers put inflation and higher prices as their top two biggest concerns, followed by the economy/client spending and general operating costs at 31% and 32%, respectively.

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Only 22% of small business employers said that President Joe Biden’s job performance has helped small businesses, while 77% said it has negatively affected business, according to the poll. Around 63% of respondents said that Bidenomics has been bad for the economy and their businesses, while only 29% said it has been good.

Crime rates have recently spiked in many Democrat-run cities, including Washington, D.C., which in 2023 reached 200 homicides before October for the first time since 1997. Other cities, including Portland and Chicago, have seen a spike in crime starting during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has continued since.

Cities like Washington, D.C., have also seen many businesses closing locations and fleeing amid the spike in crime due to increased costs and mounting losses. Businesses have similarly fled San Francisco due to crime and drug use.

The poll is a national survey of 400 small business employers conducted between January 3 and 29 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9%.

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