United States (English)

FedEx Trade Index: As U.S. Small Businesses Rebound from Pandemic, Trade Viewed as Opportunity at Both Company and Country Level


WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 8, 2021 – A shift to e-commerce has helped many U.S. small businesses weather the pandemic, but e-commerce platforms are also viewed as the most important tool for these businesses to increase their global reach, according to the latest FedEx Trade Index (1).

In this survey of 1,000 U.S. small business leaders conducted by Morning Consult for FedEx, three in four respondents view expanding trade between the U.S. and customers in other countries as a good thing, with nearly half believing that expanded trade will help their business or company, specifically. An even higher percentage, 78%, agree that increasing trade will lead to opportunities and job creation.

“E-commerce has been a lifeline for consumers and businesses of all sizes during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to keep goods and global supply chains moving,” said Brie Carere, executive vice president, chief marketing and communications officer, FedEx Corp. “U.S. small business leaders clearly understand the power and potential that trade can bring to their business and the economy. Though reaching international markets can seem overwhelming, we work every day to help connect our small and medium-sized customers to opportunities and markets around the world.”

Small business decision makers are also increasingly positive about the health of their business. Forty-five percent of surveyed business owners say their revenue is currently increasing, up nine percentage points from last year’s results (36%) though lower than the pre-pandemic figure of 56% in Fall 2019. Additionally, 62% said they expect their income to increase in the next year, a four-percentage point increase from last year’s Trade Index.

This year’s FedEx Trade Index also asked U.S. small business leaders about their perspectives on environmental sustainability. A large majority of the U.S. small business leaders surveyed—82%—agreed that companies are responsible for managing their own environmental impact. However, only about half of respondents said they felt like the government provided enough resources for their business to be as environmentally sustainable as possible (53%) or adequately focuses on environmental issues in trade (50%).

See the full Fall 2021 FedEx Trade Index findings:

Survey Results


[1] The FedEx Trade Index is a national survey of 1,000 U.S. small business leaders conducted by Morning Consult. Respondents included business owners and executives at companies with between two and 500 employees. The U.S. research was conducted online October 11-14, 2021. The margin of error for the full sample is +/-3%.

Previous FedEx Trade Index releases:

*FedEx SME Trade Index Fall 2020

*FedEx SME Trade Index Fall 2019

*FedEx SME Trade Index Summer 2018

*FedEx SME Trade Index Winter 2018

*FedEx SME Trade Index Spring 2017

*FedEx SME Trade Index Fall 2016