SOURCE: SAGE

Sage

August 23, 2012 12:00 ET

Sage Survey: As General Election Season Takes Off, Taxes and Healthcare Top List of Small Business Concerns

Heading Into Party Conventions, Small Business Owners Remain an Overwhelmingly Engaged Constituency With 96 Percent Planning to Vote

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - Aug 23, 2012) - Sage North America announced today the results of a small business owner survey about the issues that are most important for them this general election season.

The survey of 306 respondents looked at what issues are top of mind for small business owners ahead of the major party conventions kicking off the general election season. The top issues influencing how small business owners will vote in the November general election are: taxes (70 percent), healthcare (68 percent), the national debt/deficit (63 percent) and unemployment/jobs (55 percent).

While most of the small business owners surveyed consider themselves aligned with one of the two major political parties (55 percent vs. 27 percent independent), 61 percent are still planning on watching or reading about both party conventions. Forty-six percent of respondents are putting off business decisions until after the election. Of those delaying business decisions, 75 percent said that hiring is one of the decisions they are postponing. 

"At Sage, we are continually in touch with small businesses to understand the drivers for their success. Their perspectives on key issues that are central to the electoral debate give us the insight we need to advocate for small business and help their concerns be heard," said Connie Certusi, executive vice president and general manager, small business accounting solutions, Sage North America. "Our survey shows that many small business owners continue to have concerns about a variety of issues, chiefly taxes and the possible high costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, but it is also reassuring to see that small business owners are politically engaged and are planning on making their voices heard in November."

The concerns that small business owners have about the Affordable Care Act are largely related to cost. The majority (51 percent) of small business owners said they believe that the law will saddle them with higher costs. Only 4 percent feel the law will result in lower costs for them. Fifty-four percent of the respondents with full-time employees currently offer them health insurance. One-third of these businesses with employees said the Affordable Care Act will cause them to reduce their number of employees, while only 3 percent will do more hiring. Only 3 percent of the employers said the law will likely prompt them to begin offering health insurance, while 21 percent said they will likely discontinue offering health insurance as a result. The survey also showed that small business owners have deep concerns about the Affordable Care Act in general. When asked about the future of the law, 71 percent of respondents said that Congress should repeal it. 

There still exists some degree of uncertainty and confusion about the Affordable Care Act. About one-fifth indicated they did not know the effect the law would have on their business. In addition, 48 percent of the owners who are potentially eligible for the healthcare tax credit (less than 25 employees) were unsure if they qualified.

About Sage
Sage is a leading global supplier of business management software and services for small and midsized businesses. The Sage Group plc, formed in 1981, was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and now employs more than 12,600 people and supports more than 6 million customers worldwide. For more information about Sage in North America, please visit the company website at na.Sage.com. Follow Sage North America on Facebook, Facebook.com/SageNorthAmerica, and Twitter, Twitter.com/SageNAmerica.

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