Business leaders say healthcare, job and inflation are the most important small business issues, but name Iraq war as the top issue driving how they will vote on Nov. 2
A national online survey of small- and medium-sized business leaders conducted over the first two weeks of October found the majority (34 percent) turns to the Internet (websites, enewsletters, blogs, etc.) for national political information. The findings also revealed the top issues driving how small- to medium- business leaders will vote ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iraq war and terrorism ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ were different than the top issues the group says are most important to their businesses today, which focus on health care, jobs and inflation.
Conducted by Interland (Nasdaq: INLD), a leading provider of online services for small and medium-sized businesses, this survey is part of an ongoing effort to understand issues important to small- and medium-sized businesses in the U.S.
Of those surveyed, 34 percent name the Internet (websites, enewsletters, blogs, etc.) as the top media source they rely on for national political information, 26 percent said TV (local or national) and 18 percent said newspapers (local or national). Rounding out the list, 7 percent said radio (local or national), 3 percent magazines and 12 percent said they donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t use the media for national political information.
When asked to identify the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œthree most important issues facing small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. todayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â healthcare, jobs and inflation were the most popular answers. Topping the list was healthcare (65 percent) followed by jobs (34 percent) and then inflation (30 percent). Oil prices (26 percent) narrowly beat out education (22 percent) and outsourcing (20 percent). Next came social security (19 percent), the federal deficit (18 percent) and domestic trade and local politics (both at 13 percent). At the bottom of the list were the Iraq war and terrorism (both at 11 percent), foreign trade (9 percent) and the environment (7 percent).
However, when asked to identify the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œmost important issue driving how you will vote in the upcoming presidential electionÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â from the same list, the war in Iraq war was most often selected (23 percent) followed by terrorism (19 percent) and then healthcare (18 percent). Jobs (10 percent) followed by the federal deficit (6 percent) came next. Four percent of respondents said either education or inflation. Three percent selected the environment, oil prices or social security. Two percent said foreign trade, local politics or outsourcing; and one percent named domestic trade.
When asked which political party they ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œfeel is most able to help small- and medium-sized businesses succeedÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â it was a statistical tie with 44 percent saying republicans, 40 percent democrats. Sixteen percent named the independent party.
On the matter of which presidential candidate ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œwill be best for your businessÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â 50 percent said President George W. Bush, 45 percent said Sen. John F. Kerry and 5 percent said Ralph Nader.
Those surveyed were also asked to identify political websites they had visited in the past two months. Sites sponsored by the candidates out performed all other website choices given; however, 57 percent of those surveyed said they had not recently ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œvisited any political websites.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â In fact, of those responding:
- 16 percent selected www.johnkerry.com
- 15 percent said www.georgewbush.com
- 13 percent said www.jibjab.com
- 12 percent said www.c-span.com
- 11 percent said www.democrats.org and
- 4 percent said www.rnc.org
Conducted during the first two weeks of October, this invitation-only, online survey was administered to a nationally representative sample of business leaders of organizations with 500 or fewer employees. Of the 530 participants, 57 percent had been in business for five years or more. Company size ranged from less than $250,000 in revenue to more than $5 million, with 86 percent reporting under $1 million in annual sales. Eighty-one percent of respondents reported having five or fewer full-time employees. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the error attributable to sampling is plus or minus 5 percentage points.