57% Of SMBs Have Tried ChatGPT; 26% Are “Very Optimistic” About It

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Published today, Alignable’s ChatGPT Sentiment Study shows that 57% of all U.S. small business owners have at least tried the new AI tool. And 26% are already “very optimistic” about ChatGPT’s ability to help them build their businesses.

That’s especially important as the majority of SMBs are still trying to recover financially from the COVID era, inflation, labor struggles, high interest rates, and more.


Considering that 61% report they still don’t earn as much monthly as they did prior to the pandemic, it’s encouraging to see some early confidence in ChatGPT’s ability to help more businesses bounce back.

This in-depth study is based on responses from 7,802 small business owners surveyed from 6/2/23 to 7/24/23. In the next few months, we’ll be watching to see if optimism continues to rise, as more small businesses experiment with ChatGPT or related AI tools.

Early ChatGPT fans say it helps them run their businesses more efficiently, maximizing their time for more profitable work activities and growth opportunities. Meanwhile, detractors are uncomfortable with many aspects of the AI tool, and refuse to use it: see more here). Here are a few other findings:

  • Of the 57% who have tried ChatGPT, here’s what they’re using it for:
    • 31% for marketing content creation
    • 13% for customer interactions
    • 7% for various business functions
    • 3% to discover industry trends
    • 2% for scheduling, and 
    • 1% for tech support.
  • 23% of all SMBs say they’ll never use ChatGPT, expressing major concerns
  • 20% are unsure, but want to learn more before deciding 
  • Looking at demographics, minorities are the most optimistic about ChatGPT’s power. Veterans are more pessimistic
  • SMB owners in GA, FL, MN, VA, IL, & OH are the most enthusiastic about the AI tool’s potential. But those in CO, MA, NJ, MI, OR, & NC are more pessimistic.
  • Canadian SMB owners also are more pessimistic about the new AI tool, as only 19% expressed strong positive sentiments compared to 26% in the U.S.
  • Sector-wise, 46% in business services are very optimistic about ChatGPT helping their firms to grow, as are 41% in science & technology, 31% in marketing & advertising, 27% in education, & 26% in transportation. 
  • Lawyers represent the least optimistic industry, citing issues with copyright, privacy, accuracy, & more.