September 9, 2004 -- If the results of a study released by the United States Chamber of Commerce on September 7 are any clue, a large chunk of America's 23 million small-business owners will be voting Republican come November.
The Chamber, which surveyed 1,335 small-business owners, found that 77% of the respondents said that re-electing President George W. Bush would have a positive impact on their businesses in terms of jobs, health care, taxes, legal reform and overall economic improvement.
The results also show that 85% of small-business owners are either "somewhat" or "very" optimistic about the prospects for economic growth over the next few years: seemingly a ringing endorsement for the president's business-friendly policies.
"Since small businesses create three out of every four new jobs, policies that create a positive environment for entrepreneurs to flourish are critical," said Thomas Donahue, president and CEO of the Chamber, in a statement. "A robust and vibrant small-business community is vital to our long-term prosperity."
The survey results show that 85% of small-business owners consider themselves "conservative" to "moderate to conservative" while 66% said they are registered Republicans. Ninety-six percent of respondents said they would vote in the upcoming election in November while 68% of the respondents agreed that the business community should combine resources to help elect business-friendly candidates.
Though the Chamber, which represents more than 3 million businesses, said it does not endorse presidential candidates, it has launched a website--voteforbusiness.com--to help educate voters on key small-business issues.
"We support a pro-business political agenda that includes reducing regulatory burdens, ensuring a fair tax structure, strengthening our trade ties, and protecting the rights of the business community in the courts," said Donahue.
DARREN DAHL is a contributing editor at Inc. Magazine, which he has written for since 2004. He also works as a collaborative writer and editor and has partnered with several high-profile authors. Dahl lives in Asheville, NC.
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