Sage Small Business Sentiment Study

Connie Certusi

Sage serves more than 6 million small and midsized organizations worldwide, regularly surveying them and other organizations for their opinions on a variety of business topics. The most recent Sage Small Business Sentiment survey, the results of which are summarized here, focuses on U.S. small businesses’ opinions on the issues they find most pressing as we head into the general election cycle this fall.

Key Findings

  • 96% plan to vote in November.
  • 55% are aligned with a party; 27% are independent.
  • 61% plan to follow both conventions; 21% don’t plan to follow the conventions because the conventions will not affect how they vote.
  • 70% say that taxes will have a significant effect on the way they vote in November. The next most important issues to small business owners are healthcare (68%), the national deficit/debt (63%), and unemployment/jobs (55%).
  • 46% are putting off business decisions until after the election. Among owners putting off decisions, 75% said one of those decisions is hiring.
  • 34% have fewer employees than they did in 2008. Of those, 39% said technology has been at least some help in compensating for the loss of staff.
  • 54% of responding business with employees offer health insurance to those employees.
  • 51% believe the Affordable Care Act has increased or will increase their costs, 25% see no effect on costs, 4% see increased costs, and 21% are unsure.
  • 21% have or will discontinue offering health insurance as a result of the ACA vs. only 3% that have or will begin offering health insurance; 35% are unsure.
  • 71% believe the ACA should be repealed by Congress.
  • 48% of respondents who qualify for the healthcare tax credit for small businesses under 25 employees were unaware they qualified; 33% thought they did not qualify.

About the survey:
An online survey was conducted in August 2012 among 306 small business owners within the Sage customer base. The margin of error on the overall sample is +/- 5% percent (greater for subsamples) at a 95% percent confidence level. Below is a link to the complete survey. 

Sage Small Business Sentiment Study

Connie Certusi Senior VP and General Manager, Small Business Accounting Solutions, Sage, North America Copyright 2012, author retains ownership. All Rights Reserved.

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