What Political Issues Small Business Owners Care Most About

The 2016 election season is officially in full swing. After months of stump speeches and plenty of televised debates it’s almost time for citizens across the nation to vote in their parties’ primaries and caucuses ahead of the general election in November. With each state they visit candidates are doing their best to reach out to voters, answer their questions, and find out what issues are most important to them.

Recently the FinTech small business lender OnDeck conducted a poll to find out what political issues mattered most to small business owners. The study surveyed more than 1,000 entrepreneurs about what was on their minds. To borrow a phrase from the 1992 campaign of Bill Clinton (a familiar surname to 2016 voters as well) the results of the poll more or less say, “it’s the economy, stupid.”

56.6% of entrepreneurs responded that their top concern was economic growth. Although the economy has improved over the past few years many small businesses had a rough start to 2016. These poll results once again confirm that there’s still a long way to go before businesses can begin to feel safe again and really ramp up hiring.

The second most popular response was that business owners were monitoring tax policy. It’s unclear if they’re referring to business tax law specifically or personal income tax but several candidates have laid out their own tax plans that would affect both. Whether business owners are looking forward to changes or fearing them likely depends on which end of the political spectrum they fall.

Another perennial hot political topic is health care. Just as the average American likely has an opinion about the Affordable Care Act and whether it’s a good or bad thing 40.5% of entrepreneurs say they’re concerned about the cost of health care for their employees. This isn’t to say that their cost concerns are directly related to the ACA, but it may be a fair assumption since the law mandates employers over a certain size provide health benefits to their employees.

The final two responses were a bit broader in scope: 24.2% are worried about changing state or national regulations and 21.8% are concerned about the skills and education of the workforce. When it comes to regulation obviously businesses in some industries have more reason to worry than those in others. Still you never know what changes are around the corner that could impact your business. Additionally even if you don’t have kids of your own it’s important to remember that having better education for our nation’s youth could be in your business’s best interest down the line.

If you’ve ever wondered why politicians often cite small businesses and their support of them it turns out it’s not just because they’re “the backbone of the economy.” The OnDeck survey found that 94.1% of entrepreneurs surveyed voted in the last election. By comparison only about 60% of average Americans who are eligible to vote did so in 2012. With that in mind expect to hear plenty more entrepreneurs speaking out and asking candidates about the issues that they’re most concerned about as this election rolls on towards November 8th.

This article originally appeared on Dyer News.

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