Report: Compared to major corporations, small businesses have won the hearts and minds of consumers.
Here's some good news for small businesses: You can do no wrong in the eyes of the American people. Well, most of them, anyway.
According to the 2012 Public Affairs Pulse Survey, 88% of adults have a favorable view of small businesses. Fifty-three percent have a very favorable view of small businesses. Meanwhile, the number of people who say the same for major corporations is just 16%. Overall, more than half of the survey respondents believe small-business owners tend to exhibit honest and ethical behavior unlike CEOs of major corporations.
The survey, which is based on interviews with 1,750 adults living in the U.S., also found that Americans generally believe that small businesses are the backbone of the middle class. Fifty-one percent say small business has supported the middle class for the past 50 years. This response outweighed other options such as unions, major companies, and the government.
Respondents also preferred to support local businesses over large companies--even at a price increase. More than two-thirds say they would prefer to do business with “a smaller local company that may charge somewhat higher prices” than with larger companies that may offer lower prices. This statistic has risen 6% from 2011.
The survey coincides with other polls recently released highlighting job creation as a top priority for voters in the upcoming presidential election.
MAEGHAN OUIMET is a business and culture reporter whose work has appeared in Boston Magazine and Rolling Stone. She covers technology start-ups and innovations from the San Francisco bureau for Inc.com. @MaeghanO