Colorado Small Business Owners Believe Protecting Public Lands is Good for Business and Support ‘All-of-the-Above’ Energy Policy
Publisher: Small Business Majority
Published: May 15, 2012
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our nation’s workforce. We depend on them to keep local communities and economies thriving, which in turn boosts our national economy. But in the current fiscal climate, many of them are having a hard time turning a profit. Now is a better time than ever to help them get back on their feet, and scientific opinion polling reveals that small business owners in Colorado believe protecting their region’s natural assets is one way we can enhance the financial success of small businesses and local economies. Furthermore, a sizable majority of them find the president’s ‘all-of-the-above’ energy development strategy appealing but would be even more supportive if it ensures protection of those public lands.
- A majority of Colorado small business owners choose to do business in the state because of opportunities tied to public lands:
63% agree access to parks, public lands and other outdoor opportunities is a large part of the reason they live and do business in Colorado, and 43% strongly agree. Moreover, 50% agree (4 in 10 strongly agree) that Colorado’s national parks, forests, monuments and wildlife habitats aren’t just essential parts of the state’s outdoor culture and quality of life, but also reasons to run a business there.
Figure 1:A majority of Colorado small business owners choose to do business there because of opportunities tied to public lands
Please indicate which of these statements comes closer to your point of view, even if neither one is exactly right.
- Colorado entrepreneurs support the president’s ‘all-of-the-above’ approach for developing energy sources, especially if public lands are guaranteed protection:
Nearly three quarters, or 72%, support the Obama Administration’s proposal for an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy policy that promotes development of various energy sources including solar, wind, biofuels, natural gas, oil and coal. If this strategy took an extra step to protect public lands, 55% would be more likely to support it. That’s more than twice as many (26%) who would be less likely.
Figure 2:Small businesses strongly support an ‘all of the above’ energy policy if it also protects public lands in Colorado
If this "all of the above" energy policy took an extra step to also include protecting public land so that some places in Colorado would remain open and accessible to visitors and free of development would you be more likely to support the "all of the above" energy policy from Congress and the Obama Administration, less likely to support this policy or would it make no difference either way?
- Two-thirds support designating a monument at Browns Canyon and the Arkansas River Valley:
66% support a proposal to establish a national monument at Browns Canyon and the Arkansas River Valley. The proposal would allow continued vehicle access and public use of Browns Canyon such as hunting, fishing and rafting, while prohibiting new oil and gas drilling and other development.
Colorado small business owners, like many others across the nation, have been hit hard by the recession. However, they are expressing optimism about the future, and as they work to grow their businesses and bolster local economies, they need the support of small business-friendly policies. With poll results revealing the important role public lands often play in entrepreneurs’ decisions to open businesses in Colorado, it’s evident they’ve seen firsthand that protecting public lands can attract business. Taking smart steps to preserve Colorado’s natural assets—such as establishing national monuments and pursuing energy policies that include provisions to protect public lands–is good for business, according to job creators across an array of industries. They’re the backbone of our economy and now is as good a time as any to help them, considering the current economic climate. Whether they’re flourishing or working to get back on their feet, it’s important to preserve what makes their communities and businesses unique and desirable—public lands.
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