Special to the Atlanta Daily World
Atlanta small businesses overwhelmingly rank the economy as the most important factor in choosing a president, with the job market and the federal deficit among the biggest concerns, according to a new survey by The George Washington University and Thumbtack.com.
Surprisingly, however, ethics, honesty and corruption in government rated as the second-most important issue for small businesses in Atlanta.
“Small businesses are deeply attuned to the effect of politics on job creation and the economy,” said Dr. David Rehr, a lead researcher on the study with the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. “Entrepreneurs are feeling squeezed by the tight lending environment and they want their elected leaders to curb the influence of money in politics.”
Some of the key findings for Atlanta and Georgia generally include:
• Forty-five percent of all Atlanta small business owners rated the economy and jobs as the single most important factor for them in choosing a president.
• Nationally, 39 percent of small businesses say that President Obama is the most supportive candidate of small business, with 31percent saying the same of Gov. Romney. And 28 percent are still not sure which candidate is more supportive of small business.
• Georgia small businesses rate gas and fuel costs as the single most burdensome cost to their businesses – more burdensome than even self-employment taxes or health care costs.
• 78 percent of Georgia small businesses stated that health care costs are important to the success of their business.
• Among small business owners surveyed nationally, Obama fared better than Romney with businesses of five or fewer employees, 48 percent to 37 percent. The opposite was true among businesses of more than five employees, with Romney earning 49 percent to Obama’s 39 percent (among those registered and likely to vote).
• 29 percent of Georgia small businesses indicated that Obama’s health care policy helps their business.
• Taxes do not appear to be a decisive factor for small businesses in this election, with only 3 percent of small businesses nationally rating it as the most important issue in their choice for president. Even among economic issues, tax policy was the top concern for less than 6 percent of small businesses.