Clinton, Sanders and Trump
Surveying nearly 300 small business owners in the US this month, Xero found 41 percent of Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer small business owners listed Trump as the one they would most trust to run their small business. That beats Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton who scored 24 percent.
Ahead of Tuesday’s Democratic debate, the survey results showed Clinton beat Bernie Sanders who was chosen by 16 percent of respondents as the candidate they would entrust to run their business.
However, Sanders is popular with Millennials. Nearly a quarter of Millennials listed Sanders, a social democrat, as the candidate they would like to see run their small business, compared to 16 percent who chose Clinton.
What matters to small business owners
The small business owners surveyed listed increasing interest rates, raising the minimum wage and the cost of the Affordable Care Act as the election issues which would most impact them.
Commenting on the results, Russ Fujioka, Xero’s US President, explains it provides an insight into the pain points America’s small business owners are experiencing.
“The survey results show just how close to the edge America’s small businesses are running. They’re worried about interest rates rising and the impact of the Affordable Care Act. This isn’t about big business or taxing the nation’s rich, these are the almost 30 million small businesses around the country that, in aggregate, are huge employers, but their concerns need championing,” Fujioka said.
“Candidates need to address the key to the US economy. It’s small business. They need to concentrate on what small business owners are saying and how big of a constituency they are. They need to understand that across party lines, their concerns are the same, they want the business person to help.
“When asked what they need help with, people running a small business see through party lines and go to who they believe has the most business acumen.”
Why the small business vote matters
Small business owners are a major employer and significant contributor to GDP in America, but candidates aren’t addressing their concerns, Fujioka says.
“They’re talking about big business and taxing the rich, but are largely skirting around critical issues that affect small business owners,” he said.
“If you want to keep the US employed, you’ve got to keep small businesses running. For such a large, important constituency, it seems like the candidates are not talking about small businesses at all.”
“Small business owners, regardless of party affiliation, all worry about the same thing. These candidates should be hyper-focussed on the needs of small business. They need to address concerns around liquidity in the market, access to capital and compensation.”
While the candidate who eventually becomes President needs to be more than just a businessperson, understanding how these entities run is critical for the health of the national economy.
“It’s evident that whatever candidate is running for office, if they are not someone who understands small businesses, which are the lifeblood of the US economy, they better have someone in their cabinet who does,” Fujioka says.
“Uncertainty around wages, interest rates and healthcare costs keeps small business owners up at night. To keep America healthy, Americans needs to work. If you want Americans to work, you’ve got to keep small businesses healthy. ”
A thriving small business market makes for a strong American economy. Xero is developing beautiful accounting software to help small business owners get out from under their operations and start working on them.