Small Businesses Hate Government, Like McCain - InformationWeek

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7/14/2008
08:11 PM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
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Small Businesses Hate Government, Like McCain

A whopping 86% of small businesses believe that the government is doing "little" or "nothing" to help them, according to a new survey. So what else is new? Well, the survey also reveals that small business owners lean significantly farther to the right than does the general public.

A whopping 86% of small businesses believe that the government is doing "little" or "nothing" to help them, according to a new survey. So what else is new? Well, the survey also reveals that small business owners lean significantly farther to the right than does the general public.The survey, conducted by Suffolk University for American Business Management, makes the conservative tack quite clear:

-- 86% say the federal government is doing "nothing" (63%) or "little" (23%) to help small businesses (ironically, though, 90% of small businesses did not participate in the administration's recent Small Business Week)

-- 72% believe that the federal government is bailing out Wall Street and big business

-- 81% feel we are in an economic recession

-- 78% feel economic stimulus checks are useless

-- 77% feel that the U.S. needs to open up the restricted oil reserves in Alaska, and off-shore in Florida and California

-- 49% say energy costs is their biggest problem, followed by labor costs and inflation. Healthcare trailed behind all those concerns

But despite their conservative leanings and distrust of governments, many small businesses have yet to fully engage in election process:

-- 80% have no idea what McCain's or Obama's platforms are on small business and 49% admitted they did not know which major presidential candidate had the best program for small businesses

-- Still, 38% favor John McCain, 21% like Barack Obama and 32% are undecided. Not surprisingly, 33% identified themselves as Republicans, 22% as Democrats and 37% as Independents

-- The well-known Mitt Romney (43% of Republicans) and Hilary Clinton (49% of Democrates)are the overwhelming choices for vice president

So, what does this all add up to? Nothing very surprising, really. Small business owners are building companies with their own money and sweat, so they naturally focus on the economic issues of most interest to them.

And while they don't feel the government is paying attention to their needs, the government really doesn't pay much attention to their needs. Given the turmoil at giant organizations like Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, that's not likely to change no matter who our next president turns out to be.

As usual, small businesses are largely left to sink or swim on their own. As I said up top, "so what else is new?"

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