Arizona Small Business Owners Support ‘All-of-the-Above’ Energy Policy that Protects Public Lands
Publisher: Small Business Majority
Published: July 3, 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 small business owners in Arizona 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.
- Of the myriad reasons to do business somewhere, more than 4 in 10 Arizona entrepreneurs choose to do business in the state because of opportunities tied to public lands:
42% agree access to parks, public lands and other outdoor opportunities is a large part of the reason they live and do business in Arizona, and one in four strongly agree. Additionally, more than one-third (35%) agree, with 27% strongly agreeing that Arizona’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: Four in 10 Arizona 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.
- Arizona 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 73%, 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, 60% would be more likely to support it. That’s three times the number who would be less likely (21%).
Figure 2: Small businesses strongly support an ‘all of the above’ energy policy if it also protects public lands in Arizona
If this "all of the above" energy policy took an extra step to also include protecting public land so that some places in Arizona 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?
- Three-quarters support designating additional public lands as national monuments:
73% support designating more of Arizona’s existing public lands as national monuments. Doing so would ensure natural areas and water in these regions would enjoy protections similar to those of Montezuma Castle, the Grand Canyon and the Petrified Forest in Arizona.
Arizona 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, balanced energy policies—such as an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy approach that includes provisions to protect public lands. According to job creators across an array of industries, it’s good for business: poll results reveal the important role public lands play in close to half of entrepreneurs’ decisions to open businesses in Arizona. It’s evident small business owners have seen firsthand that protecting these lands can attract business. Small employers are the backbone of our economy and now is as good a time as any to help them, considering the current economic climate. Whether Arizona entrepreneurs are flourishing or working to get back on their feet, it’s important to ensure new energy policies preserve what makes their state’s communities and businesses unique and desirable—public lands.
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