September 20, 2011 09:00 ET

Government in the Red With Small Businesses: Manta Survey Finds 67% Are Unsatisfied With Government Efforts and Identify Job Creation as Top Issue

Manta Launches SMB Wellness Index, Reveals New Business Activity on the Rise in Q2

COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwire - Sep 20, 2011) - Despite the recent economic turbulence and a survey that shows 61 percent of small business owners aren't optimistic about the economic outlook, new data shows a 27 percent increase in new business activity in the second quarter of 2011 versus the same quarter last year. The findings are part of the first Manta SMB Wellness Index, a quarterly index on the state of small business released by Manta, the largest online community dedicated entirely to small business. The index examines nationwide data collected from multiple business resources and takes a "pulse" of small business owners on hot topics. Manta's latest survey polled more than 2,300 small business owners about their feelings on the political environment and its impact on the SMB community.

The Manta SMB Wellness Index shows business activity is surging in many parts of the country. California tops the list as the state with the most activity in the second quarter of this year, and Maine saw the biggest growth year over year. Not surprisingly, businesses focused on extending the life of existing products are on the rise. Repair businesses have seen a dramatic increase year over year. In addition, there's momentum in the e-commerce/IT outsourcing category, and the electronics industry has also seen a lift in activity compared to Q2 2010.

"Despite the challenging economic conditions, small business owners are charging ahead; in fact, our survey found 37 percent of small business owners expect their profits will increase this year," said Pamela Springer, president and CEO of Manta. "As a company focused on helping the small business community, Manta sees the entrepreneurial spirit is very much alive and well."

Small Businesses Elect Job Creation as No. 1 Issue

As the small business community begins to once again expand, Manta's survey found that more than one third of small business owners (38 percent) want politicians to focus on unemployment and job creation as key initiatives. However, in a separate survey, an overwhelming majority of small business owners polled (68 percent) say President Barack Obama's recent jobs proposal doesn't impact their plans to add employees -- and they still don't intend to hire. Manta's survey revealed a majority of small business owners (67 percent) say they're highly unsatisfied with the effectiveness of government. In fact, two-thirds of those polled (63 percent) feel the Obama administration has hurt small business; however, when asked which political party best supports them, 35 percent say "none of them." Although small business owners favor conservative parties two-to-one, 23 percent believe the Republican Party best supports them and 17 percent feel the Tea Party has their back. Twenty-one percent feel the Democratic Party is the political party they feel best supports small business.

On the contrary, when evaluating candidates, President Obama still holds the most individual support, with 21 percent of small business owners naming Obama as the presidential candidate who best supports them. Fourteen percent prefer Texas Gov. Rick Perry and 11 percent say it's Texas congressman Ron Paul. Surprisingly, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, whose presidential platform focuses on his business experience, came in third to last with fewer than 10 small business owners (9 percent) saying they support his candidacy. Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Gov. Sarah Palin tied for last place with only 7 percent of the vote respectively.

Business Boom

California, Florida and Texas had the biggest boost in businesses activity in Q2, while Maine, Colorado and Arizona saw the most gains year over year. Bangor, Maine, and Portland, Maine were the cities with the biggest increase in activity compared to Q2 2010.

Oregon, Utah and New Hampshire had the sharpest declines in activity year over year, while Portland, Oregon, and Houston were the cities with the lowest growth in business activity compared to Q2 2010.

About the Manta SMB Wellness Index
The Manta SMB Wellness Index is based on nationwide data compiled from new business licenses, DBA/corporate filings at city, county, and state levels, and is verified with multiple sources including utility information. Manta polled 2,324 small business owners online about their feelings on the political environment between August 12 and August 29, 2011 and also polled 1,643 small business owners from September 9 and September 13, 2011 about their plans to hire based on President Obama's job proposal. For the full report or additional information about the findings, please contact manta (at) bordersgratehouse (dot) com. To access the full survey results, go to

About Manta
Manta helps small businesses profit, connect and grow through the largest online community dedicated entirely to small business. Millions of people come to Manta each day to buy from, partner with and connect to companies. By joining Manta, small businesses easily harness the power of the Internet. Get visible; grow your business for free at

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Eileen Garrity
    (415) 963-4174 ext. 8
    Manta (at) bordersgratehouse(dot) com


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