Small Business Owners are Souring on the 2016 Election
As the primary season for the 2016 election rolls on small business owners seem to be growing increasing skeptical that positive change will come to the White House in January. A new survey conducted by OnDeck found that entrepreneurs’ faith in the 2016 presidential candidates has dropped nine percentage points since the poll was last taken in the fall of 2015. In autumn three-quarters of business owners said they had faith in the current crop of candidates while the latest survey found that only two-thirds still felt that way.
Similar to another OnDeck survey that looked at what political issues matter most to small business owners, entrepreneurs also shared the top three things they’d like the next president to do. Topping the list was “cut taxes.” This should be no surprise and business tax rates have been a mentioned in speeches from candidates on both sides with some wanting to introduce a flat tax for businesses of all sizes.
The second most common answer for what business owners would like the next president to do is reduce healthcare costs. During this election cycle the Affordable Care Act has been a big topic that has come up during a number of presidential debates. While candidates on the left want to expand upon it (with some calling for single-payer system instead) those on the right vow to dismantle and replace it. In addition to health care costs, increasing the amount of compensation employers provide their employees, the Fight for $15 an hour, has affected entrepreneurs in large cities such as Seattle and San Fransisco that have taken steps to increase their minimum wage. That debate promises to become a national issue as the general election approaches.
The third item business owners want the next president to address is infrastructure and how we can invest in improvements. Not only would this be a benefit to businesses in the construction industry that could put in bids for such projects, but would also surely help businesses that rely on freight shipping and the logistics involved. Additionally, of the three issues raised in the survey, this one would likely see the most bipartisan support.
Another interesting finding from the survey was that, when it comes to small business, one past president stands out in the minds of many entrepreneurs. When asked which former president has been the best friend to small business in America 42% said Ronald Reagan. In a distant second was Bill Clinton with 17% and our current commander in chief Barack Obama with 14%.
So far this election year has been unlike any other in recent memory. Now it seems that small business owners aren’t as excited about the prospects of a new president as they once were. As this never-ending primary season comes to a close and the general election looms it would behoove the remaining candidates to listen to what these small business owners want out of their next leader.