Small Businesses Name Economy As Job No. 1 For Obama
With the inauguration of President-Elect Obama just days away, small business owners affected by recession see restoration of the country’s economy as his top priority, but many lack faith in him to improve matters, according to a poll of 50,000 small business clients by email and direct mail marketing company VerticalResponse.
Eighty percent of respondents listed the economic crisis as the primary mandate for the new administration but only 45 percent believed Obama’s government would have a positive impact on small businesses. Interestingly, they held this view despite 83 percent of the businesses surveyed making less than $250,000 annually, exempting them from any proposed tax hikes during campaign season.
That lack of faith among a group that represents 99.7 percent of all employer firms—a group that generated 60-80 percent of new jobs annually over the past ten years—perhaps reflects the general pessimism pervasive throughout the media, Wall Street and the world economy.
“The economy has dominated headlines and people’s concerns for months, and how the incoming administration will affect small business was a hot topic throughout the election,” said Janine Popick, founder and CEO of VerticalResponse. “Small business is the heart of our country’s economy.” Popick says her company has been developing ways to help clients trim their marketing budgets as a response to slowing trends.
While it’s natural to be cautious, and while two-thirds of small businesses say they have been affected for the worse by the recession, the larger majority—72.5 percent—have not had to lay off workers, and over 14 percent are still hiring.
VerticalResponse identified 55.3 percent of survey respondents as sole proprietorship LLCs, 31.6 percent as corporations, six percent as nonprofits, and the rest (about seven percent) described themselves as “other.”