Small business confidence crashes, revealing more Main Street carnage may lie ahead

Small business owners across the U.S. are in an impossible situation: They fear that their firms may go under in a matter of months if state lockdowns caused by Covid-19 don’t end, and yet many also are worried that reopening business too soon may result in the same fate.

The Main Street bind is borne out in a dramatic new survey finding: Small business confidence has crashed, from a reading of 64 in the first quarter to 48 in the second quarter 2020. It’s the first time since CNBC started its Small Business Survey over three years ago that Main Street sentiment has been net negative.

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