This presidential election, small businesses are in the political spotlight, with both candidates vying for the top spot of “small business president.”
As Clinton and Trump tout their policies for boosting the economy, Invoice2go recently polled 500 small business owners in the US to determine their sentiment on the economy, the candidates, and the issues that matter to them most.
Invoice2go is used by America’s smallest businesses, the self-employed, and those with five or fewer employees. They represent every industry – from plumbers, electricians, and gardeners to freelance designers and accountants. Due to their size and the type of work they do, their needs and opinions vary from those of traditional small business owners (who the Small Business Administration defines as having up to 500 employees).
And while their size may be small, their economic influence is anything but. According to this report, 92 percent of all US businesses are micro businesses (0-5 employees). This represents our country’s largest segment of small businesses, directly accounting for approximately 26 million jobs.
Survey: America’s Smallest Businesses on the US Economy and Presidential Elections
America’s smallest businesses report feeling “bubble proof”
As a debate continues to swirl around how US policies can protect and fuel growth for the self-employed, freelancers, and new breed of “gig workers” (such as Uber drivers), it’s refreshing to see that rhetoric aside, there is a breed of business owner that believes they are strong enough to sustain on their own, and they are in a business that’s here to stay, no matter what the country or our politicians are bringing to the table.
We asked: Do you feel your business is “bubble proof”? (e.g. Even if bigger companies stop hiring, or we go into a “recession,” people will still need your services.)
- Yes 60%
- No 40%
Top issues on small business owners’ minds
When Hillary Clinton rolled out her plan to boost small businesses last week, she introduced a standard tax deduction, better access to financing, a proposal for simplifying the health care tax credit, and other key policies. We asked small business owners about the number one issue they’d want legislation to address, here is what they said:
- Small business taxes (43%)
- Health insurance (26%)
- High cost of government regulations (16%)
- Protection against customer non payment (8%)
- Retirement / investment options (7%)
Taxes topped the list (43 percent ranked it as their top issue), making this area one that politicians can’t afford to get wrong. Health insurance and the high cost of government regulations on starting and growing a business also have small business owners’ attention this election season.
2016 Elections: The small business vote
The election is close by anyone’s standards, and the small business vote will be a critical one for both candidates. So, how are the candidates stacking up within this important segment of the US economy?
Do you plan to vote?
- Yes 83%
- No 11%
- N/A (not eligible) 6%
Did you vote in the last presidential election?
- Yes 72%
- No 21%
- N/A (not eligible) 7%
Who will you vote for?
- Clinton 29%
- Trump 37%
- Undecided 33%
It may be too early to tell who will ultimately win the small business vote, but with 33% undecided, and 12% more business owners expected to visit the voting booths this election than last, there’s a huge opportunity for either candidate who truly listens in to the challenges faced by small business owners, and who understands how to address them in a meaningful way.
Thoughts on the US economy:
Do you think current legislation and economic state ensures a level playing field for small businesses?
- Yes 32%
- No 68%
Do you think America is currently “great” or “not great” for small business owners like yourself?
- Great 43%
- Not great 57%
Who we surveyed:
We received over 500 responses representing the following industries in the US:
- Building, construction & home services 45%
- Medical, health and personal services 2%
- Education and training 2%
- Pet services .5%
- Hospitality 1%
- Manufacturing 1.5 %
- Auto work and transportation 4.5%
- Events and entertainment 5%
- Creative industries 10%
- Consulting and professional services 20%
Invoice2go conducted an online SurveyMonkey survey of 500 US-based small business owners from August 11 to 20, 2016.
Totals may not always equal 100 percent due to rounding.