Small businesses have been at the forefront of the presidential campaign for weeks, and with the election just days away the rhetoric on issues ranging from healthcare reform to taxes to what constitutes a small business is so loud it’s hard to make anything out, let alone the truth. To help cut through the hype, we did what we do best and asked small businesses what they think about some of the key issues dominating the debate, such as whether tax cuts on high earners should be allowed to expire at the end of the year, what they think about the government’s role in business and how they feel about their business and the economy.
Their answers on these topics were pragmatic, bottom-line oriented and at times surprising. One issue that has been the topic of huge debate—and will continue to dominate political discussions until the end of the year—is whether to allow tax cuts on high-income earners to expire at the end of 2012. Some claim allowing the cuts to lapse will crush small businesses’ hiring potential. But the majority of small businesses said that’s not so, and agree that in light of our budget crisis we should let them expire. What’s even more telling is that more respondents identified as Republican than Democrat, a key distinction given the partisanship of this debate.
Polling we released this month also found small business owners believe government can play an effective role in small businesses’ success and that the smallest businesses, micro businesses, are optimistic about their business and the future.
Small businesses will continue to dominate political discussions, even after Election Day has come and gone. And we’ll be there ensuring their voices are heard. Check back for updates on all our work at www.smallbusinesmajority.org.
TAXES AND THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT
On Oct. 25, Small Business Majority released opinion polling that found the majority of small business owners believe tax cuts on high-income earners should expire at the end of the year, and that government can play an effective role in helping small firms succeed.
ENTREPRENEURALISM AND ACCESS TO CAPITAL
On Oct. 9, Small Business Majority, AEO and NASE released a poll showing the smallest businesses (those with 10 employees or fewer) significantly impact our economy and are optimistic about the future, with over half reporting increased sales or revenues over the last two years and another 50% planning to hire within the next two. In spite of this optimism, the contribution these businesses can make to our economic recovery is at risk. More than two-thirds report that availability of credit for micro businesses is a problem, and four in 10 who applied for credit last year were turned down, despite the fact that three in five say they need up to, if not more than, $50,000 in the next three years to sustain and grow their business.
On Oct. 11, CEO John Arensmeyer presented at Association for Enterprise Opportunity’s Economic Impact Council, a group of thought leaders who contribute to shaping policy recommendations and actionable solutions for the economic problems facing our country. John also sits on the advisory board.
On Oct. 19, John Arensmeyer joined Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chaffee and Anne Kelly, director of Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy to discuss a report released by the Center for American Progress and the Center for the Next Generation called, “Regional Energy, National Solutions: A Real Energy Vision for America.” The report examined non-fossil-fuel-based economic development strategies in six regions of the country to showcase the future potential of a clean energy economy.
On Oct. 24, John Arensmeyer joined business and healthcare leaders at the University of California, Los Angeles to discuss how the Affordable Care Act impacts small business owners.
On Oct. 12, John Arensmeyer spoke on a panel at Loyola University wherecommunity leaders and policymakers from across the Midwest convened to share lessons learned and opportunities ahead in building robust insurance exchanges for consumers and small businesses. John spoke on a panel entitled Ensuring the Exchange Works for a Range of Small Businesses.
On Oct. 11, California outreach director David Chase joined business and healthcare leaders to discuss implementation of the Affordable Care Act at the “Leadership Sacramento” conference. David highlighted the small business perspective on the state Health Benefit Exchange.
On Oct. 3, Vice President of Policy & Strategy Terry Gardiner spoke on two small business panels at U.S. PIRG’s Portland, Ore., exchange conference, Building Consumer-Oriented Health Insurance Exchanges: Progress & Opportunity in the West.
On Oct. 1, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 1083 into law–a bill sponsored by Small Business Majority that will help save small businesses money on their healthcare bills. Read our statement.