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The Biggest 2020 Election Issue for Small Businesses

The MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index regularly measures the health of America’s small business community by polling the nation’s owners and operators. But over the past months, it has also kept close tabs on COVID’s effects on small business, and for the third quarter, they’ve homed in on another pivotal issue: the 2020 elections.

Broadly speaking, small businesses are at least more optimistic than they were in the prior quarter. The Small Business Index reading hit 50.3 in Q3, an increase from 39.5 in Q2. But that still sits well below the reading of 71.7 taking during the early innings of the first quarter, before the full extent of the pandemic became clear.

MetLife and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s latest survey, taken Aug. 21-27, sees a similar trend in economic views. That is, 78% of small business owners called the economy “average,” “somewhat poor” or “very poor.” That’s 8 points lower than in July. But it’s still 40 points more than categorized the economy that way in January 2020.

And that’s the issue they’re focusing on most as we near the 2020 elections.

It’s the Economy by a Mile

According to MetLife and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “small businesses say the economy is — by far — their top election issue.”

Fifty-seven percent of small business owners call the economy their first- or second-most important issue when determining their presidential voting stance. Taxes are a distant second, at just 27%, followed by COVID-19 (25%) and healthcare (also 25%).

Naturally, that has led to a high amount of engagement in the 2020 elections, though just how engaged small business owners are varies based on a number of factors. For instance:

  • Seventy-one percent of Midwestern small businesses say they have more heightened interest in the election; more than those in the South (63%), Northeast (58%) and West (57%)
  • Forty-six percent of small businesses with owners in the Baby Boomer generation or older say they’re “much” more interested in the 2020 elections, compared to 36% of Millennials and 38% of Gen-Xers.
  • Forty-five percent of female-owned businesses are more interested in the 2020 elections, versus 36% of male-owned businesses.
  • Sixty-four percent of non-minority-owned small businesses say they have more interest in this election, versus 54% of minority-owned small businesses.

All in all, more than 60% of small business owners are more interested in the 2020 presidential elections than they were the 2016 election. And 77% of small business owners call the presidential election a topic of conversation among employees; 42% say it’s a “major topic.”

Small Business Help No Matter What the 2020 Elections Bring

Regardless of the elections outcome and its effect on the economy in the years to come, McManamon & Co. can help you roll with the punches. We provide small- and midsized businesses with a number of services. That includes general business consulting, accounting, taxes … even paperless office conversions. Call us at 440.892.8900 or contact us online.

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