Looking toward the upcoming Presidential election, small business owners reported two issues of greatest concern for their businesses, according to a Dealstruck survey of 410 small business-owners.
The survey revealed that regardless of political affiliation, small business owners agree that the most pressing issues in 2016 are taxes (56 percent) and health care (46 percent).
While 72 percent of liberal business owners say that the minimum wage does not impact their business and is too low, a surprisingly high percentage of conservatives agree, with just 20 percent of conservative business owners believing that the $7.25 minimum wage is too high.
"We were actually surprised to see that such a high percentage of conservatives were either not affected by the minimum wage, or actually thought that it was too low," Candace Klein, chief strategy officer at Dealstruck, told eWEEK. "When compared to similar surveys in previous years, we believe that this may be the closest we've seen both leanings come on this issue."
The report also indicated small business owners are generally not affected by the Affordable Care Act ("ACA") and are not opposed to its continuation.
More than half (53 percent) reported that the ACA will have no impact on their businesses, 18 percent reported a positive impact, and 45 percent said it should be maintained in the future (16 percent had no opinion).
Among Millennials (under 30), 26 percent feel that the ACA has had a positive impact on their businesses, and women and Millennial business owners support continuing the ACA (51 percent and 53 percent).
Despite the advance of the ACA, the survey found more than half of small businesses don’t even offer health care to their employees.
While taxes remain top of mind for SMB owners this year, the growing population of Millennials and women are not as heavily affected.
Although 47 percent of overall SMB owners think the current tax code is too onerous, only 37 percent of women and 29 percent of Millennials are concerned.
The survey also found small businesses are generally feeling positive about their own growth and the economy, but are not applying for SBA financing -- only 6 percent of respondents had ever applied--and 57 percent said they have concerns about their economic future.
The Millennial small business owner respondents, however, have reported faring better (95 percent are stable or improving), are more likely to have applied for SBA financing (16 percent), and are less concerned about the economy in the near term (47 percent).