Economy Most Important Issue for Small Business Owners Ahead of Election

Economy Health

As the US Presidential election nears, the top concern for small businesses is the economy.

A new poll by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife reveals over half (57%) of small business owners rank the economy as the first or second most important issue influencing who they will cast their votes for. 

Economy the Top Election Issue for Small Business Owners

Besides the economy other issues that keep businesses up at night include: 

  • Taxes 27%
  • COVID-19 25%
  • Healthcare 25%

Breakdown of the Perceptions

In terms of demographics, women small business owners rate race issues next to the economy that will determine which way they vote. Female small business owners are twice (16%) as likely to consider racial inequality compared to their male counterparts (8%). Veteran owned businesses for their part view education (25%) and immigration reform (19%) as important next to the state of the economy.

2020 has also seen more engagement among small businesses in terms of elections compared to 2016. Some 62% of small business owners are more interested in the 2020 election compared to 2016. Small businesses in the Midwest are more likely to show interest (71%) when compared to in the South (63%), in the Northeast (58%), and in the West (57%).   

Small Business Worries

According to the Small Business Index, businesses are still trying to recover from the effects of COVID-19. So much so, 74% of them are concerned about the impact of COVID-19

This has prompted many to have predominantly negative feelings towards the current state of the economy. This is with 78% of small businesses describing the economy as ‘average’, ‘somewhat poor’, or ‘very poor’ in August. The dissatisfaction in August shows an increase of 8 points from July’s poll.

A further 81% of small businesses say that the impact of a candidate’s policies on their business will determine how they vote. However, 68% of small business owners agree that it is more important for political leaders to compromise than stick to their beliefs in order to get things done. Overwhelmingly (82%) of small business owners believe partisan gridlock in the federal government is a serious problem.   


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Samson Haileyesus Samson Haileyesus is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has several years of progressive experience in media, communication and PR working with government, NGOs and private sector. He is passionate about public outreach, branding, media relations and marketing.

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