For Immediate Release: 1.18.2012
Poll: Supreme Court Citizens United Decision Hurts Small Businesses, Say Owners By 7 To 1 Margin
Washington, DC – Two-thirds of American small business owners believe the controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United v. FEC case handed down two years ago on January 21 hurts small companies. In fact, only nine percent of small business owners thought the ruling positive, according to an independent national survey of 500 small business owners released today by the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority.
The survey also found that 88 percent of small business owners hold a negative view of the role money plays in politics, with 68 percent viewing it very negatively. Click here to read the report.
“As we approach the two-year anniversary of the Citizens United case, the verdict is loud and clear: the ruling hurts the small businesses that we need to be strong for economic recovery,” said David Levine, executive director of the American Sustainable Business Council. “Business owners are frustrated because they have to compete with big business bank accounts to be heard, and they are fighting back. More than 1,000 business owners have joined ASBC’s Business for Democracy campaign to fight for a constitutional amendment that overturns this decision.”
“America’s entrepreneurs feel corporations have an outsized role and say in politics—to the detriment of the small business community,” said John Arensmeyer, founder and CEO of Small Business Majority. “They’re looking for a level playing field, and as the country’s primary job creators, they should have it.”
“Small business owners aren’t stupid,” said Melanie Collins, owner of Melanie’s Home Childcare in Falmouth, Maine and a leader with the Maine Small Business Coalition and Main Street Alliance. “We know who wins when corporate heavy hitters can spend all the money they want, as secretively as they want, to influence our country’s elections – and it’s not us. The Citizens United decision stacked the deck against small businesses. We’ve got to unstack that deck.”
The Citizens United case, decided by the Supreme Court in January 2010, upheld an argument that government could not place limits on political spending by independent organizations such as corporations. The landmark decision sparked a heated national debate over the role of money in politics, with calls for everything from new SEC rules requiring disclosure of corporate political spending to a Constitutional amendment overturning the Citizens United ruling.
For more information on these poll findings, visit:
Poll results reported in this statement represent findings from an Internet survey of 500 small business owners nationwide, commissioned by the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority and conducted by Lake Research Partners. The survey was conducted between December 8, 2011 and January 4, 2012. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.
The American Sustainable Business Council is a network of business organizations representing over 100,000 companies and 200,000 business leaders. ASBC advocates for public policies that meet the realities of the 21st century global economy including strategic investments in workforce and infrastructure; standards and safeguards that promote innovation, prevent abuse and protect critical resources; and a new sustainable economic model that fosters a growing, economically-secure middle class. www.asbcouncil.org
The Main Street Alliance is a national network of state-based small business coalitions. MSA creates opportunities for small business owners to speak for themselves on issues that impact their businesses and local economies. www.mainstreetalliance.org
Small Business Majority is a national nonpartisan small business advocacy organization, founded and run by small business owners, and focused on solving the biggest problems facing America’s 28 million small businesses. We conduct extensive opinion and economic research and work with small business owners, policy experts and elected officials nationwide to bring small business voices to the public policy table. www.smallbusinessmajority.org
About Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority is a national small business advocacy organization, founded and run by small business owners to focus on solving the biggest problems facing America's 28 million small businesses today. Since 2005, we have actively engaged small business owners and policymakers in support of public policy solutions, and have delivered information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth and drive a strong, sustainable economy. We are a team of 37 working from our 14 offices in Washington, D.C. and 12 states, with a network of more than 40,000 small business owners and more than 2,000 business organizations, along with a formal strategic partnership program of more than 125 business organizations, enabling us to reach more than 500,000 entrepreneurs. Our extensive scientific polling, focus groups and economic research help us educate and inform policymakers, the media and other stakeholders about issues including taxes, healthcare, access to capital, entrepreneurship, workforce development, clean energy and immigration. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.