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 policies.
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."