Whether or not small business owners think the U.S. economy is in a “double-dip recession” may depend on how they tend to vote. In spite of the fact that small business owners of both parties agree on many issues regarding the economy, the question of the double- dip recession and their take on the effectiveness of tax breaks depends largely on the political party with which they identify.
More than eight out of ten (82 percent) small business owners who identified themselves as Republicans told American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor researchers they thought the U.S. economy was at risk of a double-dip recession — a recession followed by a short-lived recovery, followed by another recession. By comparison, their Democrat counterparts were much less likely to agree. Only 58 percent of them thought the U.S. faced the likelihood of a double-dip recession.
Tax cuts have long been a point of contention between the two parties, and the 2010 election is no exception. Although the majority of Democrats and Republicans who responded to the survey said that increased customer demand was the chief driver of business growth, nearly a third of the Republican respondents (31 percent) said that tax cuts would provide the greatest boost for their businesses; only 17 percent of Democrats agreed.
Somewhat surprisingly, both Democrat and Republican business owners took a relatively dim view on how health care costs would affect their companies. Nearly half (48 percent) of Republicans told the pollsters that rising health care costs are jeopardizing the survival of their business. Four out of ten (40 percent) Democrats agreed.
More than half of all business owners said they wouldn’t be hiring over the next six months, with only a single-digit difference between Democrats (54 percent) and Republicans (58 percent). They also shared virtually identical views on the upside as well — 27 percent of Democrats owners said they would be hiring in the next six months versus 25 percent for Republican owners.
Regardless of party, the survey showed there is no shortfall of small business self-esteem: 96 percent of small businesses overall said that the success of the U.S. economy is dependent on the success of small businesses.
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