Survey: Small Businesses Worried More About Economic Uncertainty, Regulations Under Obama

Survey: Small Businesses Worried More About Economic Uncertainty, Regulations Under Obama

Under Barack Obama, “Uncertainty Over Economic Conditions” and “Uncertainty Over Government Actions” are, respectively, the second and fourth most serious problems small business owners face, according to a quadrennial survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB). 

In 2008, the last time NFIB conducted its survey, these two issues were not even ranked on the list of the top concerns cited small business owners. 

As it was then, the cost of health care is still the top concern among small business owners, with 52 percent of those surveyed labeling it as “critical.” 

“Fears over increasing health insurance costs continue to dominate the list of concerns for small businesses, very much in spite of the president’s health insurance reform law–certainly not an endorsement of the policy, nor a good sign for the future of the sector,” said Holly Wade, the survey’s author. 

NFIB actually challenged Obamacare in the Supreme Court “after the overwhelming majority of its membership expressed a desire to have it repealed.”

Nearly 40 percent of those surveyed said that economic uncertainty was the most critical problem; 35 percent cited energy concerns; and another 35 percent cited “uncertainty over government actions.” Coming in fifth: “unreasonable government regulations.” 

The NFIB notes that the Obama administration has “enacted significant policy changes of an immense nature” during the last four years and “their impact will continue as the regulatory system works to implement new policy directives.”

“Uncertainty also surrounds pending government action on the expiring 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, the debt ceiling and the federal budget,” NFIB noted. “All of these policy changes create a huge ‘question mark’ for small-business owners, impeding their ability to make short and long-term business decisions.”

The NFIB also noted that when taken as categories, “Taxes” takes the top position as the most severe problem cluster followed by “Regulations.”

This is not an economy in which, contrary to what Obama may think, the private sector is doing fine. 

The full survey can be seen here.


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