SOURCE: Manta

Manta

January 24, 2012 10:00 ET

More Than Half of Small Business Owners Dissatisfied With Presidential Candidates, According to New Manta Survey

Leading Online Small Business Community Launches Political Tracking Poll to Assess Small Business Owners' Thoughts on the Presidential Candidates & Political Hot Topics

COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwire - Jan 24, 2012) - With a GOP primary race that is still undecided, small businesses are playing a critical role in this year's election. In fact, small businesses were responsible for creating 65 percent of all net new jobs in the United States during the last 17 years, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Moreover, President Barack Obama recently promoted the head of the SBA to a cabinet-level position and GOP candidates are uniting on repealing the Obama administration's healthcare bill, in part, they say, to help ease the feared financial burden on small businesses. However, a new survey from Manta, the largest online community dedicated entirely to small business, found that 54 percent of small business owners are dissatisfied with this year's presidential candidates --nearly one in five (20 percent) say they are very dissatisfied. That said, a majority of small business owners (53 percent) are still optimistic about the economic outlook for SMBs after the election. The survey of more than 1,000 small business owners is the first in a series of Manta Political Tracking Polls that will provide an ongoing assessment of small business owners' opinions on candidates and hot topics related to the upcoming presidential election.

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of the national economy, and their voice will be heard in this year's election," said Pamela Springer, president and CEO of Manta. "As a company dedicated to helping small businesses, we hear from our community about the struggles and success they've faced in recent years. Now more than ever, the political candidates need to focus on the issues that are affecting SMBs, such as job creation, taxes and health care. Manta has provided a platform for this historically fragmented group to voice their perspectives as individuals and collectively as a community."

While a Manta survey in August showed unemployment and job creation topped the list of political issues important to small business owners, the new Manta study found small businesses are split on the political issue they believe will have the biggest impact on their company. Nearly one in five small business owners (17 percent) say tax policy will impact them the most, while 16 percent say it's their ability to get a loan/access to credit and 15 percent say healthcare and unemployment are the issues they care about most.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich still has work to do with small businesses, as he ranks third behind Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul as the GOP candidate small business owners think is the strongest among the Republican field. Nearly four in 10 small business owners say Romney is the GOP's best option, while Paul ranks second with 19 percent of the vote. Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum followed with 14 percent and nine percent, respectively.

Small business owners may believe Romney is the strongest GOP candidate, but they don't think he's the candidate who is their best advocate. When asked which candidate is the biggest supporter of small business, Obama ranked first among all candidates with 32 percent of the vote. Paul followed (and topped the Republican field) with one in five who say he's the one looking out for them, with Romney coming in third with 16 percent of the vote. It appears Romney has gained ground since Manta's last survey--in August, small business owners ranked Romney fourth behind Obama, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Paul as the candidate who is backing small business.

"It's a challenging time to be a small business, especially when you don't always feel supported by those in decision-making roles," said Jim Jansik, owner of Ohio-based Go Green Printing, which offers greener choices in printing. "Like all small business owners, I'm committed to my company's success, regardless of who is in office, but I'm confident that as the election approaches, small business will rise in importance for politicians because we are a critical piece of the overall health and wellness of the U.S. economy."

For more on the survey, please contact manta (at) bordersgratehouse (dot) com. To access the full survey results, go to http://www.manta.com/media/political_survey_012412.

About the Survey
Manta polled 1,022 small business owners, who are members of Manta.com and have claimed their Manta business profile, via an online Silverpop survey between January 4 and January 18, 2012. Manta polled also 2,324 small business owners online about their feelings on the political environment between August 12 and August 29, 2011. The margin of error is +/- 2.98 percentage points.

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 www.manta.com.

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