Businesses: Government a Barrier, Not a Help, to Economic Growth

By | September 26, 2012

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) today announced the results of a nationwide survey of small businesses and manufacturers. The results cast a harsh light on the state of the U.S. economy six weeks before Election Day.

The poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies (POS), surveyed 800 small business owners, manufacturers and decision-makers at small and medium-sized companies, with a majority (55 percent) saying the national economy is in a worse position compared to three years ago. Among the chief factors survey respondents cited were federal regulations, taxes, government spending and the cost of health insurance and energy.

Key survey findings include the following:

  • 67 percent say there is too much uncertainty in the market today to expand, grow or hire new workers.
  • 69 percent of small business owners and manufacturers say President Obama’s Executive Branch and regulatory policies have hurt American small businesses and manufacturers.
  • 55 percent say they would not start a business today given what they know now and in the current environment.
  • 54 percent say other countries like China and India are more supportive of their small businesses and manufacturers than the United States.

“Manufacturers have told policymakers in Washington time and again that uncertainty and a negative business environment is turning the American Dream into a nightmare,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The findings of this survey show that manufacturers and other small businesses have a starkly negative outlook for their future—with good reason. There is far too much uncertainty, too many burdensome regulations and too few policymakers willing to put aside their egos and fulfill their responsibilities to the American people. To fix this problem, we need immediate action on pro-growth tax and regulatory policies that put manufacturers in the United States in a position to compete and succeed in an ever-more competitive global economy.”

NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner said, “The small businesses who are the engine of our economy are clamoring for their elected representatives to stand up and lead so they can focus on the business of getting America back on its feet. Yet, instead of smoothing the way, our government continues to erect more barriers to growth through burdensome regulations that increase costs for small businesses and all Americans. It’s time Washington started listening to America’s job creators and offered real solutions to help us back to prosperity.”

Bill McInturff of POS said, “The data in this survey offer a striking picture of how American businesses view the current state of the U.S. economy. It’s clear that small business owners and manufacturers are becoming increasingly more frustrated by the federal government’s inability to solve America’s economic problems. Manufacturers place most of the blame squarely on policies coming out of Washington.”

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