The immigration rhetoric continues in the places that you would expect it. The platform to secure our borders has become nothing more than a decree to desensitize Americans. There is one place that understands what is going on, and it is not the CEO’s of Silicon Valley or Fortune 500 companies, it is the small businessman and woman. President Trump realizes this and resonates with the small business market. The main factor is that immigration is not the problem for small business hiring. The primary issue is hiring skilled labor in a tight labor market. The unskilled, uneducated worker that is crossing the border is of little interest to the majority of small business owners. Barely 1 in 8 small business owners blame immigration restrictions for difficulties they have hiring skilled workers, according to the latest CNBC Survey Monkey Small Business Survey, a quarterly online poll with responses from 2,085 small-business owners.
The CNBC Survey Monkey has compiled a case statistically speaking that small business is not affected by immigration to a large extent. Accordingly, just 17 percent of small business owners say immigration will have a negative effect on their businesses in the next year. Statistics used by the Small Business Confidence (SBC) Index offer data on what is really affecting these businessmen and woman. In addition to immigration, which as we have stated is relatively benign in respect to sentiment, taxes on the other hand have played a significant part in the positive economic outlook that has hit all-time highs with this group. According to the SBC, opinions on tax policy saw a huge change after the passage of the tax reform bill in December. Macro issues as immigration and taxation, which a small business has relatively little control over, are quite meaningful in their responses. As such, taxation issues are met with what one would perceive as positive sentiment. Remember folks, these are not the one percenters that Elizabeth Warren would have you believe are the only people benefiting from the Trump tax cuts. This is Middle America, which the young and ignorant democratic communist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said didn’t exist anymore. The backbone of capitalism is alive and well, and shows little sign of weakening as a result of immigration or tax issues.
Tariffs and trade are the final pieces of the puzzle in the SBC survey of small business sentiment. A gradual division in small business views over trade has been detected in recent surveys. According to the SBC data, “Trade policy changes have led to a gradual bifurcation in expectations in recent months. In past surveys most small-business owners said that trade policy would have no effect on their businesses: 62 percent said so in Q4 of last year, 60 percent in Q1 and 53 percent last quarter. That number dropped to 47 percent this quarter, while the percent expecting a negative effect from trade has risen to 30 percent, and the percent expecting a positive effect stands at 22 percent.”
Small business owners have spoken, and they are okay with the current handling of immigration as it relates to their businesses. Taxes and trade have pushed the needle in different directions for this group. The larger issue is still hiring, and no solution has yet been proposed for it.