Small business owners across the country are working to rebuild our economy. These entrepreneurs, the engine of job creation, are doing everything they can to hire, grow and move their businesses forward. As part of these efforts, scientific opinion polling in six states— Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia—shows that America’s entrepreneurs want pragmatic, innovative policies that help guide them into a competitive, modern clean energy economy.
In the aftermath of the recession, small business owners are doing all they can to shift our economy back into gear. But many of them are still idling, if not completely stalled. To thrive and reach their full potential, small businesses need a more level economic playing field with large businesses—one that makes them better able to create jobs. Small business owners know robust economic policies aimed at leveling the playing field would strengthen their bottom lines and enhance their capacity to foster widespread economic growth.
Health insurance exchanges are the most important component of healthcare reform for small businesses. These marketplaces will allow small businesses and individuals to band together to purchase insurance, which will lower their healthcare costs and allow more of them and their employees to get quality healthcare coverage.
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and create the vast majority of new jobs, yet as these poll findings make clear, small business owners believe large corporations and wealthy Americans pay less than their fair share of taxes. Poll respondents support specific reforms to address the problem.
Rhetoric blaming government regulations for a lack of small business growth and our stagnant economy has reached a fever pitch. Legislators have introduced bills aimed at curbing regulations, believing this would stimulate our sluggish economy. While lawmakers are right to view small business as the key to economic recovery, small businesses don’t see regulations as their No. 1 concern. Instead, the vast majority of small business owners believe weak demand is the primary problem for their business right now, not regulations.
Small business owners are suffering from weak sales and decreased customer demand, and on top of that, a lack of access to credit. It is difficult for small business owners to access the credit that will help them grow, hire and jumpstart the economy. Our new opinion polling shows an overwhelming 90% of small business owners nationwide agree the availability of credit for small businesses is a problem, and 61% agree it’s harder to get a loan now than it was four years ago.
On Jan. 21, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in its Citizens United decision that corporations are free to spend unlimited sums of money in elections. According to opinion polling released by the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority, two-thirds of small business owners see this decision as bad for small business. The poll also shows small business owners overwhelmingly believe corporations have been given too much freedom to spend money that directly influences political campaigns.
America’s small business owners are doing all they can to outlast the condition of today’s economy. These hardworking employers know they need the right kind of help if they are to thrive. That’s why they believe immediate action is necessary to form bold clean energy policies that will prompt innovation, and in effect, stimulate small business and the economy.
In this tough economy, small business owners struggle just to keep their doors open, let alone turn a profit and create jobs. Nevertheless, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in small businesses, and they know that to thrive we must create new opportunities and change with the times, which explains why they favor raising fuel efficiency standards by huge margins—a step some people have wrongly described as a job killer.
In March 2011, Small Business Majority and Pacific Community Ventures (PCV) released the results of a survey, commissioned by PCV, of 804 California small business owners with fewer than 20 employees on key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. It found that small business owners who currently don’t offer health insurance, along with those who do, are more likely to provide or continue to provide coverage because of the healthcare tax credits and state insurance exchange.