For small-business owners, the key issue this mid-year is economic growth. Everything else remains a secondary consideration in mid 2013, and some of the numbers are surprising.
Even as Congressional Republicans met during the dog days of July to consider immigration reform, only 3% of owners polled in a new Rocket Lawyer survey said that the matter was a top priority for the country. And, surprisingly, a mere 10% tagged healthcare and the still-evolving reality of healthcare exchanges to be a major factor for them in the past six months.
Economic and small-business growth, however, remained at the top of the list.
Nearly half (43%) of the owners polled said it was the main concern they held for the remainder of 2013, and more than half (55%) said that their small business had grown — or even boomed — during the first part of the year.
Let’s look a little closer at some of these numbers, especially at those surrounding issues that one might have expected to be higher up among owner’s concerns.
Health Care and Immigration: Where SMBs Stand
The healthcare stats tell us that there are two things going on among the more than 1,000 owners who participated in the poll: (1) awareness versus non-awareness of the issues is about evenly split (2) a surprising number of owners who are aware aren’t especially concerned about the outcomes of these matters.
- Just more than 50% said they are aware of the new healthcare exchanges geared toward small businesses.
- When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, 59% who are paying attention to it say they believe the legislation will increase employee healthcare costs. However, 29% said it will have no effect.
Immigration issues seem to be more squarely in the radar, but there’s still a remarkable suggestion of ambivalence about the outcome — at least according to the numbers that came back.
- Some 64% of respondents said they are aware of the immigration reform plan.
- 23% of respondents said they support reform.
- 28% claimed they do not support the reform proposal.
- Nearly 50% said they do not know how they feel about the issue.
The Mobile Equation
What owners did seem sure about: mobile tech is become firmly entrenched in the way that they do business. Close to half (47%) said they use mobile apps every day for business purposes. Within those respondents, the answers break out further along demographics of age.
- Gen Y (ages 18-30) and Gen X (ages 31-47) reported the highest rates of mobile use: 62% and 58%, respectively, say they use mobile apps every day for business.
- Only 27% of those ages 67+ say they use mobile daily.
Finally, optimism about what respondents maintain is the main issue this year — growth — seems to be on the rise. That is, 74% of the respondents said they were hopeful for an even better second half of 2013.
“This is good news,” said Charley Moore, founder and executive chairman of Rocket Lawyer. “Main Street businesses are increasingly optimistic and focused on growth.”