FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—One-third of small-business owners say increased crime is cutting into their earnings, and 7 in 10 grade President Joe Biden’s performance negatively in terms of helping small businesses, a new poll finds. 

Pollsters John McLaughlin and Scott Rasmussen conducted the survey, along with the Job Creators Network Foundation in March, among 400 small-business owners. When asked about their sentiments regarding the state of the economy, 46% of small-business owners said the economy is getting worse, while just 27% said it’s getting better.   

One-third of small businesses with brick-and-mortar locations say elevated crime rates are reducing their earnings. In a news release, the Job Creators Network Foundation explained, “The need for increased spending on security, lost products due to shoplifting, and a drop in customer foot traffic are reasons why.”  

 “A majority of respondents blame homelessness and drug addiction for the uptick,” it added. 

When asked about the effect of illegal immigration on their businesses, 44% of the participants said that it’s harming their business. More than two-thirds of the small-business owners said they support immigration reform that would secure the border and provide a path to “earned” legal residency.   

The poll found that 46% of small businesses see the economy as becoming worse, while just 27% say that it is improving. 

Three-quarters of respondents said they are most interested in hearing 2024 presidential candidates talk about the economy in the upcoming election. 

“Small businesses almost always care most about the economy, a pattern that remains true during this election cycle. But what has changed under the Biden administration is the degree to which other factors affect it,” Alfredo Ortiz, CEO of the Job Creators Network, told The Daily Signal on Wednesday.  

“Soft-on-crime policies and a deteriorating southern border are contributing to drug addiction and homelessness—an environment that is spilling over onto Main Street. As a result, small businesses are feeling the financial squeeze, and many know the Biden administration is partly to blame,” Ortiz added.  

The Job Creators Network Foundation conducts its Small Business Poll regularly among 400 small-business owners to gain insights on how the owners are feeling about the economy and public policy issues in the news. Participants were interviewed online after being randomly selected for the survey. 

The poll was conducted from March 1 to 18. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.9% at a 95% confidence interval.