Washington,DC and Sausalito, California (PRESS RELEASE – June 11, 2010) — A new bi-partisan poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and American Viewpoint found strong support among small business owners for clean energy and climate legislation. The survey, which included interviews with 800 small business owners, is one of the first to look specifically at small business owners’ attitudes regarding clean energy policies.
“This survey reflects the views of a stakeholder group that’s relatively new to the national conversation on clean energy policy. The research shows that small business owners want action on clean energy, which they believe will strengthen the country’s economy,” said John Arensmeyer, founder and CEO of Small Business Majority, one of the sponsors of the poll. “For a while, we’ve been hearing that many large businesses support new clean energy policies, but now we’re hearing it from a broad cross-section of smaller businesses as well.”
Following are some of the top findings from the poll:
A majority of small business owners believe that clean energy legislation will strengthen the economy:
- 61 percent of small business owners agree that moving the country to clean energy is a way to restart the economy and help small businesses create jobs; and
- 58 percent think that adopting new energy policies will transform the economy and they want their business to be part of it.
When asked specifically about potential clean energy and climate legislation, support is strong:
- 50 percent of small business owners support clean energy and climate legislation that would “limit pollution, invest in clean energy sources and encourage companies to use and develop clean energy sources,” and “put a price on carbon emissions from energy sources like oil and coal, so companies would have to pay if they release these emissions into the air.”
Support is even stronger among African-American and Hispanic business owners:
- 78 percent of African-American and 60 percent of Hispanic small business owners support clean energy and climate legislation.
“As a Hispanic business owner with 17 employees, I know that moving to clean energy is smart for my business, my employees and my family,” said Annette Gonzalez-Fassler, President, LAF Group, Inc., who runs several General Nutrition Centers (GNC). “In order to be truly competitive in the 21st century, America needs to embrace clean energy policies that will create jobs, protect the environment and strengthen our economy for the long-term.”
The poll, conducted in the spring of 2010, was commissioned to discover small business attitudes toward energy conservation practices and clean energy policies. During this time, many small businesses have been facing intense financial challenges due to the strained economy, and for many this has led to reduced spending and scarce financial resources. Nevertheless, there is strong support for clean energy policies.
“One of the most surprising findings of the survey is that despite the fact that nearly two-thirds of business owners believe it would increase costs for their businesses, a majority still want to move forward on clean energy and climate policy,” said Anna Greenberg, senior vice president and principal of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.
The poll was conducted on behalf of Small Business Majority, We Can Lead and American Businesses for Clean Energy. An executive summary, report and top-line findings can be found at: www.smallbusinessmajority.org.
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and American Viewpoint designed and administered a national phone survey among small business owners. The survey reached 802 owners, managers, and CEOs of businesses with 100 employees or fewer. The survey was conducted March 24-April 6, 2010. The base sample of 600 small business owners was supplemented by two oversamples of minority-owned business:
- 100 African American small business owners
- 100 Hispanic small business owners
The data were weighted by gender, race, number of employees, and region to ensure an accurate reflection of the population. The total sample size with these weights applied is 600 and has a margin of sampling error of +/- 4.0 percentage points. The total number of interviews with African American owners is 124 and has a margin of sampling error of +/- 8.8 percentage points. The total number of interviews with Hispanic owners is 121 and has a margin of sampling error of +/- 8.9 percentage points.
About the poll’s sponsors
Small Business Majority is a national nonprofit organization focused on solving the biggest problems facing America’s 28 million small businesses. Based in Sausalito, CA, with offices in Washington, DC, Sacramento and New York City, we conduct extensive opinion and economic research and work with small business owners, policy experts and elected officials nationwide to bring nonpartisan small business voices to the public policy table.
We Can Lead is a nationwide coalition of 1,000 business leaders – innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, manufacturers and energy providers from states across the country who support comprehensive, forwardlooking energy and climate policies in the United States. The network includes small and medium sized companies to large-scale energy providers, Fortune 500 companies and leading consumer-facing brands. We Can Lead is a project of the Clean Economy Network and Ceres’ Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP). For more on We Can Lead, visit www.wecanlead.org or follow us on twitter@wecanlead.
American Businesses for Clean Energy is a broad umbrella organization that shows the breadth of business support for clean energy and climate legislation. ABCE will not develop detailed policy recommendations or evaluate specific proposals since existing business coalitions already address those needs. The ABCE initiative is open to any company or business association that supports Congressional action to pass effective climate and energy legislation now. By joining the initiative, these companies are making a public statement urging Congress to act. To learn more about American Businesses for Clean Energy and to pledge support for clean energy legislation, please visit: www.AmericanBusinessesforCleanEnergy.org.