The economy and jobs is--by far--the most important issue for entrepreneurs in the upcoming presidential election, according to a recent survey conducted by Thumbtack.com, an online platform used to find local service providers. The company teamed up with with the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management to surveymore than 6,000 small business owners from across the country.
The survey also found that more small business owners believe Barack Obama is more supportive of small business than Mitt Romney.
When asked, "What is the single most important issue in your choice for president?" 40% of respondents said "economy/jobs." "Ethics/honesty/corruption in government" was the second most popular answer with 13% of small business owners saying it was paramount in selecting a candidate.
More respondents (39%) said Obama was more supportive of small business with 31% choosing Romney. But it seems the small business owner vote is still very much up for grabs, as 28% saying they weren't sure who was the better small business candidate.
The survey also explored the specific economic issues most important to entrepreneurs. More than a quarter (26%) said unemployment and the job market was the biggest economic issue this election season, with 16% saying it was the federal budget deficit and 10% saying its health care costs.
Small business owners rated gas and fuel as the most burdensome cost on their businesses, with self-employment, personal income taxes, and health care costs ranking second through fourth. Minimum wages costs was ranked as the least burdensome aspect of a business.
The survey was administered from July 27 to August 22. Survey respondents were predominantly male--62.3% to 37.6%--but this reflects the 64.1% male, 35.9% female gender composition of American business owners as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.
JOHN MCDERMOTT is a business and culture reporter whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune and Playboy and on AOL.com. He recently moved from Chicago to Brooklyn, New York, to work for Inc.com. @J_M_McDermott