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Scientific Opinion Poll: Small Businesses Say Commonsense Regulations Needed to Ensure a Competitive Economy

For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

Small employers say some regulation is needed to protect small businesses from unfair competition and to level the playing field with big corporations

Washington, DC—A scientific opinion poll released today debunked the myth that regulations are one of the biggest issues hindering small business growth. In fact, an overwhelming majority of small employers say regulation is essential in a 21st century economy.

The survey, conducted by Chesapeake Beach Consulting on behalf of Small Business Majority, found a whopping 80 percent of small business owners agree regulation of businesses is needed for a modern economy. What’s more, 78 percent of small employers say some business regulation is needed to protect small businesses from unfair competition and to level the playing field with big businesses, and the same percent believe we should not get rid of all regulations on businesses.   

Additionally, the poll found the vast majority of small business owners do not feel current levels of business regulation are hindering their businesses. When asked to rank the biggest problem facing their business, the top concern cited is weak or uneven customer demand (20 percent), with the costs of benefits like healthcare and competition from larger corporations coming in second and third on the list. Just 6 percent of small businesses feel the level of state and local government regulation is their primary concern, and 5 percent rank the level of federal government regulation as their top issue, coming in at seventh and eighth respectively.  

“Although my tech company is in the start-up phase, I haven’t been overburdened by regulations as I get my business off the ground,” said Kari Heistad, CEO of the Diversity Dashboard, which is an online project management software firm, in Newton, Mass. “There are many challenges to starting a new venture, like accessing financing and finding qualified workers, but complying with regulations is a very minor matter. That’s why I support commonsense regulations that can protect small business owners like me by making sure large corporations play by the rules.”  

Some members of Congress and the Trump administration are pushing to reduce financial regulations and oversight put in place after the Great Recession, including weakening the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act and undermining the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) ability to enforce regulations in the financial sector. The poll found that 59 percent of small business owners agree that federal regulation of Wall Street and the financial services industry is necessary to protect small businesses and three in four small business owners support the CFPB.

“The long-held assumption that small business owners feel weighed down by current levels of government regulations is simply false—regulations are not even close to one of their top concerns,” said John Arensmeyer, Small Business Majority Founder & CEO. “In reality, small firms feel some regulation of the financial services industry is necessary to create a fair and level playing field. Rather than wanting the government to kill all regulations, America’s small firms actually want lawmakers to do even more to help their businesses compete with larger corporations.”

The survey reflects interviews of 500 small business owners nationwide with 1-100 employees. Poll respondents are politically diverse with 45 percent identifying as politically conservative, 39 percent identifying as liberal and 15 percent as pure independent. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent.

For the full poll report, please visit: http://smallbusinessmajority.org/our-research/government-accountability/small-business-owners-say-commonsense-regulations-needed-ensure-modern-competitive-economy


About Small Business Majority

Small Business Majority was founded and is run by small business owners to ensure America’s entrepreneurs are a key part of a thriving and inclusive economy. We actively engage our network of more than 58,000 small business owners in support of public policy solutions and deliver information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth. Our extensive scientific polling, focus groups and economic research help us educate and inform policymakers, the media and other stakeholders about key issues impacting small businesses and freelancers. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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