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Press statement

For Immediate Release: 11.14.2012

Scientific Opinion Poll Shows Small Businesses Very Concerned About “Fiscal Cliff”

Washington, DC—A scientific opinion poll released today shows nearly eight in 10 small business owners are aware of the so called “fiscal cliff”—a host of tax increases and billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts that will take effect on Jan. 1 if Congress and the president can’t agree on a plan to reduce the deficit by year’s end. If not avoided, this situation will have a dire effect on entrepreneurs and the middle class, small firms’ core customer base. The poll revealed just how widespread the unease is about this critical situation, as strong majorities of small business owners expressed worry about nearly every fiscal cliff issue they were asked about.

The national telephone poll of 500 small business owners, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for Small Business Majority, revealed entrepreneurs don’t want a solution to interfere with job creation opportunities: a majority think it’s more important for Congress to focus on creating jobs than reducing the deficit. However, entrepreneurs see eliminating tax cuts that only benefit the wealthiest as one part of a potential solution. By nearly a 2:1 ratio, small business owners believe spending cuts for education, healthcare and infrastructure would hurt the economy more than a tax increase on the top 2 percent. A majority also believe allowing tax cuts for high-income earners to expire is the right thing to do given our current economic situation.

“Our economy is slowly recovering. Allowing the tax increases and drastic spending cuts that going over the fiscal cliff would trigger would cripple our small businesses and middle class, and with them our fragile recovery,” said John Arensmeyer, founder & CEO of Small Business Majority. “Lawmakers need to act now and give small employers a sense of certainty about what they can expect come Jan. 1st.”

The poll found more than three-quarters of small business owners are concerned about an increase in the employee portion of payroll taxes, which saves a typical household $1,000 a year, and could lead to decreased disposable income and demand from customers, as well as less money in entrepreneurs’ own pockets. It is estimated that if this 2 percent tax cut is allowed to expire, it could cost nearly one million jobs and almost a percentage point of economic output in 2013.

“From a business perspective, what I’m most concerned with is consumer demand,” said Mike Brey, owner of Hobby Works, which has five locations throughout Maryland and Virginia. “That’s what drives my decision to open new stores, allows me to create new jobs and to continue investing in the company. For that demand to be there, we need to ensure middle class taxpayers have spending money. That means keeping their tax rates where they are now rather than letting them go up, and extending the employee payroll tax holiday, so consumers don’t see smaller paychecks next year.”

Additional findings include:

Related Findings From Recent Polling (released Oct. 25, 2012):

For the full report visit: http://smallbusinessmajority.org/small-business-research/taxes/


About Small Business Majority

Small Business Majority is a national small business advocacy organization, founded and run by small business owners, to support America’s 28 million small businesses. We conduct extensive opinion and economic research and work with our rapidly growing network of small business owners across the country to ensure their voices are an integral part of the public policy debate. Learn more about us on Wikipedia and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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 more than 30 working from our 11 offices in Washington, D.C. and 9 states, with a network of more than 45,000 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.


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