The Political Leanings of Small Business | 2016


Earlier this week, we shared the results of a pre-election on-line survey of small business concerns commissioned by Sage software. Earlier this month (July, 2016), a similar survey of small business owners was released by the network of business newspapers owned by Business Journals. Their findings were based on a wide array of factors including phone interviews with nearly 1,300 business owners and C-suite executives and companies with 5-499 employees. There are some major differences in the findings of two surveys so we decided — for equal time — to share some of the findings of Business Journals’ “The Political Face of Small Business” to compare with the previously shared data.


“Politically, do you consider yourself…?”

Percentage of total respondents who provided a self-selected answer. “Other” includes all respondents who did not answer “Democrat” or “Republican.”

19% | Democrat
46% | Republican
35% | Other (Independent, other or none)


Republicans | Profile of Owners and Businesses

72% | Men
28% | Women
$198,000 | Household income (average)
$1.7 million | net worth (average)
84% | Married
66% | College graduates
$9.6 million | Annual sales
31.9 | Years in operation
11% | Under 10 years in operation
24 | Employees

Democrats | Profile of Owners and Businesses

57% | Men
43% | Women
$170,000 | Household income (average)
$1.3 million | net worth (average)
62% | Married
76% | College graduates
$8.5 million | Annual sales
25.2 | Years in operation
21% | Under 10 years in operation
22 | Employees

Undecideds | Profile of Owners and Businesses

This category includes those who answered, “undecided, independent, other or none.”

70% | Men
39% | Women
$176,000 | Household income (average)
$1.3 million | net worth (average)
68% | Married
67% | College graduates
$6.7 million | Annual sales
25.5 | Years in operation
19% | Under 10 years in operation
26 | Employees


Overview of business owners by self-selected political category

[table “” not found /]

Top 5 concerns of small business owners across political affiliations

Republican

Democrat

Other

Cost of health insurance and other benefits

1

3

1

U.S. economy

2

Rising cost of doing business

3

2 (tie)

Attracting new customers

4

1

4 (tie)

Tax changes that could hurt business

5 (tie)

Maintaining existing customer base

5 (tie)

 4 (tie)

4 (tie)

Being able to find and keep good employees

4 (tie)

2 (tie)

Having enough money to retire

 2