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Small Business Owners Say Infrastructure Investments Important to their Business, Favor Robust Federal Support

Publisher: 
Small Business Majority
Date: 
Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

The current administration pledged to make infrastructure spending a key priority soon after the election. President Trump has proposed government spending of $200 billion over 10 years supplemented by another $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending from local and state governments and private investment. Other proposals put forward seek higher levels of federal government spending, including a proposal from congressional Democrats to spend $1 trillion over a 10-year period. While Congress has yet to move on either of these proposals, new scientific opinion polling shows small business owners are broadly supportive of efforts to invest in our nation’s infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, and feel the federal government should play a lead in funding these efforts.

The poll, conducted by Chesapeake Beach Consulting for Small Business Majority, revealed small business owners feel that investing in infrastructure is important to their business, and they believe the federal government should play a significant role in funding those investments. The poll was an online survey of 500 small business owners nationwide.

Specifically, the poll found a plurality of 44% of small business owners favor a proposal for $1 trillion in public spending over 10 years, compared to 39% who support the proposal to spend $200 billion over 10 years. Similarly, a majority of 51% agree with that the responsibility for funding infrastructure projects should fall to the federal government, rather than state and local governments.

Importantly, a majority of small business owners (55%) agree that robust investment in our nation’s infrastructure is crucial to the success of their business. Seven 7 in 10 small business owners feel it’s important for Congress to fund high-speed broadband infrastructure projects, and an additional 73% agree that any national infrastructure spending should include substantial investment to expand broadband access in rural areas. Small business owners also feel strongly that a wide variety of projects should be funded by any infrastructure bill passed by Congress, including schools, hospitals, energy infrastructure, rails systems and ports and waterways.

As this poll reveals, small business owners feel that infrastructure projects are important to their business and would like to see a variety of large-scale projects funded, especially highways, roads, bridges and high-speed broadband, and they think the responsibility of funding these projects should fall on the federal government rather than state or local governments.

Key Findings

Robust investment in our nation’s infrastructure critical to small business success: Fifty-five percent of small business owners agree that robust investment in our nation’s infrastructure is crucial to the success of their business.

Figure 1: Small business view infrastructure spending as crucial to their success

Robust investment in our nation’s infrastructure is crucial to the success of my business.

Small business owners support public infrastructure spending proposals: A plurality of 44% of small business owners support a proposal to allocate $1 trillion in public spending over 10 years on infrastructure projects, compared to 39% who favor the White House’s proposal to allocate $200 billion over 10 years with the aim of attracting an additional $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending from local and state governments and private investors.

Small business owners agree the responsibility for funding infrastructure should fall to the federal government: A 51% majority of small business owners agree with the statement that the responsibility for funding infrastructure projects should fall to the federal government, not state and local governments, compared to 40% who disagree with this statement. An additional 54% agree that we should avoid the privatization of our infrastructure.

Figure 2: Small business feel federal government responsible for infrastructure spending

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The responsibility for funding infrastructure projects should fall to the federal government, not state and local governments.

Small business owners support investment in broadband access, particularly in rural areas: 7 in 10 small business owners want Congress to fund high-speed broadband projects, and 73% agree any national infrastructure spending proposal should include substantial investment to expand broadband access in rural areas. 

Figure 3: Small business support high for public funding of rural high-speed broadband

Do you agree with the following statement? Any national infrastructure spending proposal should include substantial investment to expand broadband access in rural areas?

Small business owners overwhelming support infrastructure spending for physical infrastructure projects: Small business owners feel strongly that a wide variety of projects should be funded by any infrastructure bill passed by Congress, including schools, hospitals, energy infrastructure, rail systems and waterways. A vast 96% of small business owners feel Congress should fund highways, roads and bridges.

Small business owners are politically diverse: 45% of respondents identify as Republican or Republican-leaning independents, 39% are Democrat or Democrat-leaning independents and 15% are pure independent.

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