New Survey on Politics of Small Business

October 22, 2020

Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020

Molly Day, NSBA                                                            

Washington, D.C. – The National Small Business Association (NSBA) today released its 2020 Politics of Small Business Survey which showed small-business owners’ political party allegiances deepening, mirroring our nation’s growing political divide. When asked in 2014, just 18 percent said they vote a straight party ticket, but today, that number has jumped to 27 percent.

“While the partisan divide is growing even among small business, one thing most small-business owners agree on is that most policymakers don’t really understand small business,” stated NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken. “However, there is a silver lining: policymakers received higher marks today than two years ago in terms of how well they understand small business. So while progress may be slow, it is still progress.”

Although small-business owners’ political ideologies played a significant role in their responses, Republican and Democratic small-business owners alike ranked economic and fiscal issues as the most important factor in determining how they vote. Asked about mail-in voting, the majority of small businesses support allowing widespread mail-in voting, however Democrats expressed far higher support than their Republican counterparts.

More Republicans say their party is more representative of small business (87%) than Democrats who say the same (62%) about their party.  Far fewer Republicans cross party lines and say Democrats best represent their small business than the other way around.

When it comes to campaign finance, Democrats and Republicans report nearly equal contribution rates to candidates and political parties, however Democrats report notably higher rates of contributing to a specific issue or PAC. The overwhelming majority of small businesses (80 percent) support some version of campaign finance reform.

“America’s small businesses are facing unprecedented challenges, from the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn to the contentious 2020 election,” stated Marc Amato, 2020 NSBA Chair. “Unfortunately, there is much still to be done to ensure small business as we know it emerges in-tact on the other side of this economic downturn.”

Please click here to download the full report.

Celebrating 80 years in operation, NSBA is a staunchly nonpartisan organization advocating on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs. NSBA’s 65,000 members represent every state and every industry in the U.S. Please visit or follow us at @NSBAAdvocate.