In today’s political climate, a lot of political leaders talk about wanting to help small business, but oftentimes don’t take their actual comments and concerns into consideration when working on key policy issues, like tax reform and healthcare. That’s why we tackled this challenge head on at Small Business Majority’s 2017 Policy Forum, which brought 50 small business leaders from around the country to our nation’s capital to discuss how to promote policy reforms that will help small businesses thrive.
Small Business Majority released a national scientific opinion poll—including oversamples in five states—that found small business owners oppose denying services to LGBT customers based on religious beliefs, rights to free speech or freedom of artistic expression. Further, the poll showed that a majority of small businesses support enacting federal and state laws to protect LGBT individuals from discrimination in places of public accommodation. Small business owners feel that nondiscrimination policies are good for their state’s business climate and their own business’s bottom line.
Small Business Majority released a scientific opinion poll that found small business owners and their employees are impacted by a lack of access to high-quality, affordable child care. Further, the poll showed that a majority of small businesses support expanding federal programs to increase access to child care through both direct federal assistance and expanded tax credits to help working families struggling with the cost of child care.
Around the country, small business owners are struggling to find qualified employees. In fact, some 40% of American employers cite lack of skills as the No. 1 reason for entry-level job vacancies, especially among young job candidates. Meanwhile, the youth unemployment rate in our country remains considerably high after the aftermath of the Great Recession. Though some small businesses may want to help address this problem while identifying potential talent, they often don’t have the resources to sponsor an internship or mentoring program.
It’s no secret that HB 2 has been nothing short of an economic disaster for the state. PolitiFact found that the discriminatory law already cost North Carolina around $500 million and a minimum of 1,400 jobs. The Associated Press estimated that the law would eventually cost the state $3.76 billion if left in place. Given the clear economic consequences of HB 2, it’s disappointing that lawmakers made a deal in March to only partially repeal it, because that compromise could still pose a danger to North Carolina’s small business ecosystem.
Small Business Majority released a scientific opinion poll that found the majority of small businesses support publicly-administered paid family and medical leave insurance programs, which would allow employees to receive partial income when they need to take time off to recover from a serious illness or care for a new child or sick family member.
The skills gap is a significant hurdle to growth for most businesses in the United States. And while this gap is well documented in sectors like manufacturing, which had 353,000 open jobs per month in 2016 (through August), it is not as well known that small employers face a similar shortage of well-qualified workers.
It’s no secret that big businesses struggle to find skilled and credentialed employees. But this issue also impacts our nation’s job creators: small businesses. New scientific polling shows small businesses around the country believe lack of education, experience and training is one of biggest challenges they face when it comes to hiring and employment, and they’re willing to act to ensure they have the skilled workers they need to run their businesses.
Many small business owners think of their employees as family, and they believe in taking care of their employees in order to retain a happy and loyal workforce and to attract top talent. They also know it’s important for their employees to be able to balance their work and family responsibilities. New scientific polling shows the majority of small businesses in Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi and New Mexico offer benefits like paid leave and provide family-friendly policies for their employees.
Signed into law on Feb. 5, 1993, the Family Medical Leave Act allows eligible employees of covered employers to take a limited amount of unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons, and have their benefits maintained. Twenty years later, scientific opinion polling has found small businesses strongly support the decades-old law.