Among Small Business Owners, Strong Support for Clean Energy Policies
A new bipartisan poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research
and American Viewpoint found strong support among small business owners
for clean energy and climate legislation. The survey, which included
interviews with 800 small business owners, is one of the first to look
specifically at small business owners' attitudes regarding clean energy
A majority of small business owners believed clean energy legislation
would strengthen the economy: 61 percent of small business owners
agreed moving the country to clean energy is a way to restart the
economy and help small businesses create jobs, and 58 percent thought
adopting new energy policies would transform the economy and they want
their business to be part of it. The survey found support was even
stronger among African-American and Hispanic business owners: 78
percent of African-American and 60 percent of Hispanic small business
owners support clean energy and climate legislation.
When asked specifically about potential clean energy and climate
legislation, 50 percent of small business owners supported clean energy
and climate legislation that would "limit pollution, invest in clean
energy sources and encourage companies to use and develop clean energy
sources," and "put a price on carbon emissions from energy sources like
oil and coal, so companies would have to pay if they release these
emissions into the air."
"This survey reflects the views of a stakeholder group that's
relatively new to the national conversation on clean energy policy. The
research shows that small business owners want action on clean energy,
which they believe will strengthen the country's economy," said John
Arensmeyer, founder and CEO of Small Business Majority, one of the
sponsors of the poll. "For awhile, we've been hearing that many large
businesses support new clean energy policies, but now we're hearing it
from a broad cross-section of smaller businesses as well."
The poll, conducted in the spring of 2010, was commissioned to discover
small business attitudes toward energy conservation practices and clean
energy policies. Anna Greenberg, senior vice president and principal of
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, said one of the most surprising findings of
the survey is that despite the fact that nearly two-thirds of business
owners believe it would increase costs for their businesses, a majority
still want to move forward on clean energy and climate policy.
"As a Hispanic business owner with 17 employees, I know that moving to
clean energy is smart for my business, my employees and my family,"
said Annette Gonzalez-Fassler, president, of LAF Group, which runs
several General Nutrition Centers (GNC). "In order to be truly
competitive in the 21st century, America needs to embrace clean energy
policies that will create jobs, protect the environment and strengthen
our economy for the long-term."