WASHINGTON – A new poll of 600 small business owners shows they are pessimistic about job growth this year and disappointed that the federal government hasn’t done more to cut their taxes, officials of the Job Creators Alliance said Tuesday.
The alliance, a group of about two dozen past and present CEOs who support free markets and reduced government regulation of business, commissioned a survey of 600 small businesses owners to gauge their sentiment on the new fiscal cliff deal and the state of the economy. The poll was conducted last week and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent. Their results revealed that the majority believe current policies discourage free enterprise.
“We need to create an environment that reduces risks for small business entrepreneurs,” Bob Luddy, president of CaptiveAire Systems, said at a news conference announcing the poll. “Entrepreneurs are every inch the heroes of our society…. The real villains are the federal government.”
In the survey conducted by Republican pollster Wes Anderson, 70 percent of the business leaders said Washington policies have become more hostile towards free enterprise.
“The reason a lot of [small businesses] are doing okay is a lot of the competitors went out of business,” said John Allison, president of the libertarian Cato Institute and former CEO of BB&T Corp. “They are not going to go and take a crazy risk when they don’t see an optimistic future.”
One-fourth of respondents said that the single most important issue facing small businesses is taxes.
“Taxes, government regulation and health care are the hurdles in front of Americans,” Anderson said.
Of those surveyed in the nationwide telephone poll, most who identified themselves as Republicans and independents said the federal government has become increasingly hostile towards businesses, while Democrats were evenly split on the issue.
Chris Courtney, who manages money Deutsche Bank, attended the event and said his clients echo the concerns of the alliance.
“What my clients tell me is what those gentlemen say: there are taxes, regulations [and] ambiguity that really concerns them,” Courtney said.