The BusinessPulse, powered by Barlow Research Associates, Inc., provides detailed analysis and reporting on small business sentiment including economic position, economic confidence, and credit outlook for small and middle market companies. Barlow Research surveys more than 2,800 companies annually across the U.S. to gather current viewpoints and draws on 10 years of data to provide in-depth research on economic trends to the commercial banking sector.

Live Oak BusinessPulse


Fourth Quarter, 2021



Findings include

Inflation is at the top of small business owners’ minds

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4 in 10

small business owners have increased prices over the past 12 months

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of small business owners expect prices to increase

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of small business owners expect profits to increase — a sign that profits are not likely to keep up with increased prices

Confidence among small business owners is the lowest it has been in 2021


plan to retain cash reserves

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Full time employee vacancies are expected to outpace new hires

The Live Oak BusinessPulse, fielded by Barlow Research Associates, is an invitation-only economic survey administered online or via fax, fielded for two weeks during the first month of each quarter.