Poll: Regulations Not the Top Concern for Small Business Owners

Feb. 8, 2012
A new poll reveals that most small business owners do not list regulations as a top concern or barrier to their businesses; in fact, many respondents view regulations as a way to level the playing field with larger companies.

Only 14 percent of small business owners cited government regulations as their top concern. Thirty-four percent, meanwhile, considered "weak customer demand" the biggest problem facing their businesses.

"Despite the heated rhetoric, regulations simply aren’t small businesses' top concern," said John Arensmeyer, founder and CEO of Small Business Majority. "Small businesses can be the jobs engine we need to jumpstart the economy, but not if legislators are focusing on something that isn't their top problem. Policymakers should listen to what real small businesses are saying and act accordingly."

The American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority released the national poll of 500 small businesses on Feb. 1. Key findings include:

· The No. 1 job creation solution cited in the poll was eliminating incentives to move jobs overseas (24 percent). Reducing regulations (10 percent) came in fifth.
· 78 percent believed some standards are important to protect small businesses from unfair competition.
· 93 percent of small business owners said their businesses can live with "fair, manageable and reasonable" regulation.
· 80 percent supported product safety standards and 80 percent supported disclosure and regulation of toxic materials.
· 79 percent of small business owners supported ensuring clean air and water, and 61 percent supported moving the country towards energy efficiency and clean energy.

"An overwhelming percent of small business owners agree that without fair regulations creating a level playing field, small businesses won't be able to compete against big businesses. From our perspective, the effort to kill regulations is big businesses' way of rigging the game in their favor," said Frank Knapp, Jr., Vice Chair of the American Sustainable Business Council and president and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce.

For more information and to read the full report, visit http://mainstreetalliance.org/5511/poll-regs-economy.

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