Live Oak BusinessPulse 

Insight and Analysis of Small Business Sentiment and Economic Trends

The BusinessPulse provides detailed analysis and reporting on small business sentiment, including economic position, economic confidence, and credit outlook for small and middle market companies. Take a deep dive into the Q1 data and discover how businesses feel about their past performance and what they expect in the next 12 months.


20_LOB_Illustrations_Indigo_Business Pulse

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Small business is the backbone of our country. It drives jobs, creates prosperity and boosts local economies. We’re proud to contribute to that growth by investing in America’s small business owners. When you bank with Live Oak, you can be proud too.

key takeaways



Sales and Profit Outlook Remains Tepid 

With expectations for sales and profits substantially lower than they were one year ago, small businesses say they anticipate slightly increasing their prices and decreasing wages in 2023.  



Optimism is Increasing

Small businesses are beginning to feel more optimistic in their financial condition, with 36% expecting improvement during the next year. 



Small Businesses to Pull Back on Spending

Businesses have pulled back on spending as 1/3 report that they anticipate their excess cash reserves will decrease over the next 12 months. 

Source: Live Oak Q1 2023 BusinessPulse Survey Results (Powered by Barlow Research)

About Barlow Research

Barlow Research surveys more than 2,800 companies annually across the U.S. to gather current viewpoints and draws on years of data to provide in-depth research on economic trends to the commercial banking sector. Barlow has a long-standing relationship with Live Oak Bank, primarily through powering the BusinessPulse. In addition, Barlow Research has provided industry analysis for vertical selection, competitive intelligence on the digital account opening and lending processes. Live Oak Bank is also a member of Barlow Research’s flagship Small Business Banking program. 

Joel Mueller
Managing Partner & Research Director | 763.253.1806
Barlow Research Associates, Inc.
917 Lilac Drive North, Minneapolis, MN 55422