Nov. 4, 2004--Optimism from the business sector spread along with the news that Senator John Kerry conceded the 2004 election to President George W. Bush on Wednesday.
Many polls taken prior to the election by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and organizations like the NFIB showed that businesses -- especially small ones -- favored the president and other Republicans in Congress over their Democratic challengers because of their focus on key issues like tax cuts, homeland security, healthcare and tort reform.
"NFIB members are delighted with the results of their efforts in the U.S. Congress, and we're anxiously awaiting the results of the final few elections," said NFIB President Jack Faris on the organization's website on Nov. 3. "It shows decisively that Americans believe that candidates supported by small business are leading the country in the right direction. It makes sense -- health care, jobs and a fair legal system are concerns of all Americans."
These sentiments were echoed by TEC International, an executive group with over 10,000 members, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "I think small business views this as a pretty favorable outcome. Over 70% of our membership had indicated that they were in favor of Bush over Kerry," said Dan Barnett, chief operating officer of TEC. Barnett cited Bush's effect on interest rates and taxes as two reasons TEC members supported his re-election.
"He gets high marks, especially in the regulatory area and in taxes," said Giovanni Coratolo, the director of small business policy for the U.S. Chamber. With that in mind, Coratolo expects Bush to continue in this vein and address the agenda items the Chamber has pushed, including tort reform, health care, and regulatory issues. "His whole philosophy is to create an environment where small businesses can flourish."
Now that Bush has another four years ahead of him, and at least two more years of a majority in Congress, many businesses are looking forward to President Bush delivering on some of his key, business-friendly promises. Sectors like pharmaceuticals, health care, energy, financial services, defense and telecommunications promise to continue to receive government funding and attention as the president's administration seeks to win the war on terror, rescue social security, provide access to affordable health insurance and prescription drugs and get the price of oil under control.
At the same time, companies in the biotechnology, transportation and environmental service sectors that might have been looking for renewed support from a Democratic president could be left disappointed.