MN Small Biz Owners: Economy Is Most Important in Election

MN Small Biz Owners: Economy Is Most Important in Election

Small businesses owners in the state who responded to a recent survey said that the economy and jobs are the most critical issues in the upcoming presidential election, while ethics, honesty, and corruption in government are also important when selecting a candidate.

Minnesota small business owners overwhelmingly say that the economy and jobs are the most important factors when it comes to electing the next president.

That’s according to a survey released Thursday by The George Washington University and San Francisco-based Thumbtack.com, an online service that connects customers with service professionals.

Behind the economy and jobs—which 32 percent of Minnesota small business owners ranked as most important—ethics, honesty, and corruption in government ranked as the next most-important factors when selecting a candidate. Perhaps surprisingly, only 3 percent of Minnesota small business owners said taxes are the most important issue when choosing a president.

Minnesota small business owners ranked gas and fuel costs as the most burdensome costs to their businesses—outranking even health care costs. Eighty-two percent said that the federal and state incentives they receive as small businesses are important to the success of their companies.

“These entrepreneurs are an important barometer of our nation’s economic health and political sentiment,” Thumbtack.com cofounder Sander Daniels said in a statement. “When job creators speak, we need to listen as closely as possible.”

Nationally, 39 percent of small business respondents said that President Barack Obama is the most supportive candidate of small businesses, while 31 percent said the same of Mitt Romney. The remaining 28 percent were unsure.

Meanwhile, those who own a business with five or fewer employees tended to favor Obama, while those with more than five employees leaned toward Romney.

“Small businesses are deeply attuned to the effect of politics on job creation and the economy,” David Rehr, an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management and a lead researcher on the study, said in a statement. “Entrepreneurs are feeling squeezed by the tight lending environment, and they want their elected leaders to curb the influence of money in politics.”

The George Washington-Thumbtack.com Small Business Political Sentiment Survey asked more than 6,000 small business leaders from across the country—including more than 100 in Minnesota—about their priorities for the upcoming election. To read the complete Minnesota results, click here.

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