Two thirds of small businesses say there’s too much economic uncertainty to expand or hire, says a new survey.
The poll, done by the conservative National Federation of Independent Business and the National Association of Manufacturers, surveyed 800 small-business owners, manufacturers and decision-makers at small- and mid-size companies. (Of the 800 people surveyed, 453 were small-business owners and 347 were small manufacturer owners or lower level decision makers.)
Pessimism PervadesThe majority (55 percent) of those surveyed said the economy is worse than it was three years ago, and they blame both President Obama and Congress. More than two-thirds (69 percent) said Obama’s regulatory policies have hurt small business and manufacturing—and more than half (54 percent) said that foreign countries with growing economies, such as China and India, are friendlier to small businesses than the U.S.
“The theme of government being a barrier rather than a help is clear throughout this data,” observed a Public Opinion Strategies presentation about the survey. (POS actually conducted the survey.)
Government to Blame?Dan Danner, president and CEO of the NFIB, told Roll Call: “I think what the survey says to us is it confirms what we hear every day from small-business owners and what our own internal data says, that a majority of our members and small-business owners do believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.”
He added: “They do believe that government policies are a big part of that.”
The poll is just one of many in the runup to the November election. A survey last week by the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management and Thumbtack.com found that nearly a fifth of the small business vote is up for grabs, with 20 percent of respondents saying they were still undecided in the election. That’s more than double the estimated six to 10 percent who are undecided among the general population.
Their opinion on Obama? Well, in that poll, 39 percent of small-business owners thought he was the better champion of small business than Mitt Romney, who just 31 percent chose.
Read more stories about government and small business.