Many small business owners say this election could make or break their business
More than half of small business owners said the upcoming election is the MOST important of their lifetime.
The study of 500 U.S. entrepreneurs found a fifth said their company could be in jeopardy depending on the political outcome.
And one in 10 U.S. businesses will have to close their doors for good — if the upcoming presidential election doesn’t go their way.
For 11%, this is their first time voting as a small business owner and for more than one in 20 it’s their first time voting in a while.
The issues business owners are most focused on are the economy (68%), affordable health care (43%) and small business tax reform (26%).
The research, which was commissioned by Vistaprint, found 95% of entrepreneurs plan to vote in the upcoming election — with 55% doing so in person and 40% via a mail-in.
And 37% said an election has never been more important for small businesses.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and their votes are paramount in every election, but especially this year,” said Vistaprint North America Market Director Erin Shea.
“For more than 20 years, Vistaprint has been the marketing and design partner for millions of small businesses across the U.S. As their partner, it is important for us to understand how they are feeling going into the upcoming election and how the events and policies of the past six months have impacted them.
“This survey helps to shine a light on the topics most important to small business owners along with addressing their concerns about casting their ballot in this election.”
The study found of those planning to vote in person, 77% hope mandatory mask-wearing will be in place, while 75% want to see social distancing in place, well more than half would like to see sanitation stations (59%) and appropriate directional or informational signage (58%).
Fifty-four percent of respondents planning to vote via mail-in are doing so because they are worried about being exposed to COVID-19 if they physically go to their polling station.
Top reasons from the 5% not planning to vote included being fed up with politics in general (41%), feeling like their vote doesn’t matter (33%) and not liking any of the options (15%).
More than a quarter said better candidates would compel them to vote, while 30% would be persuaded if they ‘knew’ it would make a difference.
Nearly half of small business owners said national elections have had the biggest impact on their business.
Further issues they will focus on in the upcoming vote include the safety and public health restriction for small businesses (14%), unemployment (17%) and business relief such as the Paycheck Protection Program (17%).
Of those polled, 18% were eligible for the PPP and 58% applied.
Almost three-quarters did so in order to help their employees by keeping their salaries, wages and commissions and 40% used it to pay the rent or mortgage for their premises.
But 31% of those who didn’t apply claimed it was too complicated and almost a tenth weren’t aware of the PPP at all.
Overall, a third of business owners feel anxious or worried about the election while 24% said they’re nervous and another 16% admitted they’re outright scared.
And a further sixth said they may have to make some big changes to their company depending on the voting result.
Following the pandemic, a positive 74% are confident their business will survive.
And the policies which have had the most positive impact during this time included health and safety measures which have allowed businesses to open (16%) and unemployment benefits (14%).
“The pandemic has devastated communities across the nation, and we have seen that small businesses have been hit particularly hard. Participation in this upcoming election is pivotal and is reflected in the survey as nearly all respondents (95%) intend to vote in November,” said Vistaprint North America Market Direct Erin Shea.
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