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Small Business Owners’ Opinions on Regulations and Job Creation

Publisher: 
The American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority
Date: 
Wednesday, 1 February, 2012

Rhetoric blaming government regulations for a lack of small business growth and our stagnant economy has reached a fever pitch. Legislators have introduced bills aimed at curbing regulations, believing this would stimulate our sluggish economy. While lawmakers are right to view small business as the key to economic recovery, small businesses don’t see regulations as their No. 1 concern. Instead, the vast majority of small business owners believe weak demand is the primary problem for their business right now, not regulations.

Key Findings

Weak demand is small business owners’ biggest problem: 34% of respondents said weak demand is their biggest problem, while 15% cited the cost of health coverage and other benefits. Only 14% said it is the level of government regulation. The level of taxes came in fourth place with 12% and competition with larger companies garnered 10%.

Small business owners see regulations as a necessary part of a modern economy and believe they can live with them if they’re fair and reasonable: 86% of small business owners agree some regulation of business is necessary for a modern economy, and 93% of them agree their business can live with some regulation if it is fair, manageable and reasonable. 

Small businesses' top concern is weak demand

Which of the following is the most important problem right now for your small business?

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