Small Business Owners Demand Attention in 2024 Elections Amid Economic Struggles

Small businessPhoto by Tim Mossholder on

NEW YORK, NY – With National Small Business Week in full swing, a new survey from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices reveals that small business owners are gearing up to make their voices heard in the upcoming November elections. An impressive 96% of respondents are either certain or likely to vote, underscoring the political clout of this vital sector of the American economy. However, a significant portion remains undecided on their presidential pick, with 20% of small business owners unsure of whom to support, surpassing the general public’s indecision rate by 8%.

The survey exposes a gap between small business concerns and the presidential candidates’ focus areas. A majority of small business operators, 55%, expressed dissatisfaction with the candidates’ treatment of small business issues, pointing to a critical oversight in the campaign discourse. This sentiment is not unfounded, as small businesses are battling against a tide of economic challenges, including inflation, tax policies, regulatory burdens, and access to capital and workforce training.

Jessica Johnson-Cope, President of Johnson Security Bureau in The Bronx, New York, shared her perspective, highlighting the resilience of small business owners amidst soaring operating costs. According to Johnson-Cope, small businesses look for policy considerations from candidates that foster a more favorable business environment, given their crucial role in driving the nation’s future.

Adding to the urgency is the significant impact inflation has had on small businesses, with 71% reporting heightened inflationary pressures compared to three months ago. Nearly half have been compelled to increase prices for their goods or services, reflecting the pervasive nature of the issue. The survey detailed specific cost increases affecting small businesses, including labor, commercial insurance, goods and inputs, employee benefits and health insurance, capital access, and rent.

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Despite these economic headwinds, there’s a silver lining. Sixty-four percent of small business owners report their operations are running at or above pre-pandemic levels, showcasing the sector’s enduring strength and adaptability. Views on the overall health of the U.S. economy are mixed, with 31% rating it as “good” or “excellent” and 39% deeming it “fair.”

The responses from 1,259 small business owners across the United States, including territories such as Puerto Rico and Guam, reflect a broad consensus on the need for more political attention and action on issues directly impacting them. As the election season heats up, the call for candidates to prioritize small business-friendly policies becomes increasingly pronounced, with 78% of respondents considering a candidate’s stance on small business policy a significant factor in their voting decision.

This collective stance among small business owners signals a potential turning point in electoral politics, where the priorities of America’s economic backbone could shape the outcome of the 2024 elections. Candidates would be wise to heed the concerns and demands of this influential group, as their votes represent not only their individual interests but the broader well-being of the American economy.

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