Gallup: Americans Love Small Business, Dislike Big Business

The latest Gallup poll indicates that 79% of Americans believe big business is “Creating important new products and technologies,” but only 43% believe large companies are “Creating good jobs for Americans.” The majority of the American public perceive that large U.S. based companies put the interests of the foreign countries and their overseas workers ahead of the United States and American workers. 

Gallup Inc. is an 85 year old American research-based, global performance-management consulting firm that specializes in public opinion polling in the U.S. and other countries. In its latest poll, Gallup surveyed 1,005 U.S. adults over the period from April 30th to May 1st on their opinions regarding big business on a range of topics:

How would you rate the job large U.S. companies are
doing at each of the following – very good or poor
 % good % poor

Creating important new products and technologies

79

19

Creating good jobs for citizens in other countries where U.S. companies do business

66

26

Creating better lives for people and communities outside the U.S. where U.S. companies do business

56

34

Promoting U.S. values and ideals around the world

49

46

Protecting the environment

48

50

Helping grow the U.S. economy

44

54

Creating good jobs for Americans

43

54

Balancing the interests of the U.S. and Americans with the best interests of the company

43

54


With the lowest poll results in “balancing the interests,” creating U.S. jobs, and helping grow the U.S. economy, it is clear that Americans have a very poor image of “big business.” Other than creating important new products and technologies to be made overseas to improve the lives of foreign workers, the American public has little respect for big business’s contribution to the American Dream

But this antipathy for corporate America does not extend to business in general. In a prior poll, Gallup found that 65% of Americans have “confidence” in small business. The only other institution that had a higher confidence factor was the U.S. military at 76%. When asked in the current survey whether big businesses or small businesses makes a bigger contribution to developing new products and technologies in the U.S., Americans believe in small over big by 60% to 35%, respectively.

Gallup provides consulting services to help companies market their products around the world. They believe that “U.S. companies clearly have an image problem” because big businesses are “not convincing Americans that they are the backbone of the U.S. economy as much as they are economies overseas.”

Gallup believes that large companies should try to document the “degree to which they are behind many of the innovations and products that grow the U.S. economy. They also need to remind the public that growth among large companies usually leads to development in the small businesses that supply them and that small businesses gain when large companies increase workforces.”

The Gallup polling results are highly influenced by decades of outsourcing U.S. manufacturing and now telecommunications services off-shore. As big American companies “on-shore” heavy manufacturing back in the United States, it will take years and a dedicated effort by corporate America to improve their image at home. 


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