Small business owners are increasingly applauding the work of President Donald Trump.
Sixty-four percent of small business owners approve of Trump’s job performance as president, according to a survey released Thursday by CNBC and Survey Monkey. That was a four-point gain from the prior survey taken at the end of 2019.
That is the highest approval rating since the quarterly survey was launched in 2017.
The survey was taken between February 2 and February 10, a period in which the Senate was holding its impeachment trial and eventually voted to acquit the president.
The percentage of small business owners who say they “strongly approve” of how Trump is handling his job rose to 47 percent. The “strongly approve” rating had never previously been above 40 percent.
“This is a high watermark for President Trump’s job approval, both among small business owners in our survey and among the general public,” said SurveyMonkey senior research scientist Laura Wronski.
Small business owners skew more Republican than Democrat, giving Trump an edge with this group. But CNBC reports that Trump saw a big jump in his approval by business owners who identify as independents, with his approval rating rising from 37 percent to 43 percent.
Trump received high marks from both women and men who owned small businesses. Fifty percent of male small business owners said they strongly approve of the president and 15 percent said they somewhat approve. Forty-two percent of women strongly approve and 19 percent somewhat approve.
Trump still provokes strong feelings in those that oppose him. Very few small business owners only “somewhat disapprove” of Trump, just 6 percent in the latest survey. Twenty-nine percent strongly disapprove.
Optimism is up among small business owners, with 56 percent saying economic conditions are good and only 7 percent saying they are bad. Sixty percent say they expect sales to increase over the next 12 months and only 6 percent expect a decline. Thirty-two percent said they expect payrolls to grow and just 5 percent see them shrinking.