According to a recent survey, U.S. small business owners are extremely active in both state and federal elections—so candidates on both sides of the aisle might want to listen up.
“The Politics of Small Business,” released this week by the National Small Business Association (NSBA), found that 97% of small business owners vote in national elections, and 94% vote in state elections.
And 99% of small business owners said they are registered to vote.
In addition, 69% said they have contributed to a candidates’ campaign, and 76% have contacted their lawmakers on small business issues. Forty percent of respondents said their lawmakers actually know who they are, and they have ongoing relationships with these politicians.
Despite their levels of engagement, small business owners are not satisfied with today’s state of politics. Eighty-four percent said political agendas have become increasingly partisan over the past 10 years, and 62% said the current U.S. political system does not serve their business well. More than three-quarters (88%) said they don’t feel Congress understands small-business issues, and 87% said they felt the same about the Obama administration.
When it comes to placing their votes, small business owners said their priorities—in order of importance—were 1) economic and fiscal issues, 2) foreign affairs and national security issues and 3) social issues. Small businesses are also overwhelmingly independent, the NSBA found, with 80% not voting on a straight party ticket.