Nearly 70% of Owners Say Obama Has Hurt Their Business
Two representative groups of small business and manufacturing are not giving high marks to President Barack Obama, as if this should be a startling revelation. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released the results of a survey of their membership today, and their conclusions were clear: Current government policies hinder growth.
The poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies (POS), surveyed 800 small business owners, manufacturers and decision-makers at small and medium-sized companies, with a majority (55 percent) saying the national economy is in a worse position compared to three years ago. Among the chief factors survey respondents cited were federal regulations, taxes, government spending and the cost of health insurance and energy.
Key findings discovered:
* 67% felt there is too much uncertainty in the market today to expand, grow, or hire new workers.
* 69% of small business owners and manufacturers say President Obama’s Executive Branch and regulatory policies have hurt American small businesses and manufacturers.
* 55% say they would not start a business today, given what they know now and in the current environment.
* 54% say other countries like China and India are more supportive of their small businesses and manufacturers than the United States.
What I found of particular concern are the last two points above. Small business employs the vast majority of American’s nationwide. If the people running the engines of employment now would not be willing to start a business in today’s environment, then how many out there really are holding off, or have given up that dream? How many jobs have not been created at a time when they are needed most?
Small business owners must also know that their own country will create an environment conducive for them to succeed, and provide jobs along the way concurrent to that success. Who can blame businesses that outsource jobs to, set up shop in, or relocate outside the United States? Who would want to set one up today here at home in the current tax and regulatory environment, if they have an option of going overseas for a better one? They have no obligation to be where they have a greater chance to fail.
62% of respondents even felt that foreign competition was not a significant negative influence on their bottom line; but rather our own regulations and taxes impacting their ability to compete with them. Yet, rather than work towards re-establishing an environment that fosters competitiveness with China, India, and other parts of the world, we have a President that instead chooses to vilify those that leave the more business-hostile one right here at home.
Other details of the poll of interest were:
* Two-thirds of respondents who offer their employees health insurance think Obamacare will cause insurance costs to increase.
* More than one in five say they will consider dropping health insurance coverage for their employees because of Obamacare.
* 55% of respondents, especially from the smaller businesses, report a worsening of the relationship between small businesses and federal regulators.
While results like this are not surprising, they reinforce that no matter what the President’s teleprompter is telling him to say about the economy, those who will have to do the hard work needed to generate a long-term turnaround are not buying what he is selling. Stimulus spending may look good on paper with the right wording, and sound great in a soundbyte, but what happens once the “shovel-ready” jobs are completed, and nothing created from supply following real demand exists?
Try as he might (and I don’t want to give him ideas), Obama will not be able to compel people to start businesses via executive order. Real improvement must come from allowing market forces to breathe again, and to feel confident in starting or expanding the capabilities needed to put people back to work. Action, not great speeches, will be the only way to convince existing and potential small businesses that America is still a great place to operate in.Tags: Barack Obama, big government, Domestic Issues, Economy, election 2012, jobs, manufacturing, mitt romney, NAM, national association of manufacturers, national federation of independent buiness, nfib, obamacare, Politics, small business