Small Businesses Peeved at Lack of Support from DC

The Obama Administration isn't faring well with small-business owners, and the president's jobs proposal did little to help entrepreneurs' negative outlook on hiring. According to a recent survey, 67% of business owners are highly dissatisfied with government efforts to revive the economy and create jobs.

Manta's first-ever SMB Wellness Index, released Tuesday, found that small-business owners are currently most concerned with job creation, a shift from their concerns surrounding health-care reform in the first part of 2011. The index found 38% of small-business owners want politicians to focus more on unemployment and job creation as key initiatives and nearly two-thirds (63%) of those surveyed feel the Obama administration has hurt small business.

The index surveyed more than 2,300 small-business owners online.

Manta CEO Pamela Springer said the shift in attitude for business owners from health care concerns to job creation is a result of the continued lagging economic climate.

"Health care took second stage," Springer said. "They thought the economy was stable, and it was a false positive. Now it’s a little more hand-to-mouth, you see unemployment rising and realize, 'We really haven't fixed this thing.' That trumps health care."

These entrepreneurs also feel they are not supported or represented in Washington. The index found 35% said no political party supports them, with the Republican Party in second place with 23% of the vote, Democrats in third with 21% and the Tea Party with 17% of the vote.

Despite this response, President Obama still has the most individual support with 21% of the respondents' vote. Fourteen percent said Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) best supports them, followed by 11% naming Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). Former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) had less than 10% of the vote, followed by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) tied for last place with 7% of the vote each.

Springer said Romney's low placing in the political candidate portion of the survey came as a surprise to her, though it's anybody's guess which candidate will be the 2012 Republican nominee.

"The business background, alignment and discussions he brings to the table still doesn't resonate with them," she said. "I believe we have a split government, there's lots of posturing going on. The candidates that will prevail will be the ones that resonate with Independents."

President Obama's jobs proposal to Congress last week didn't inspire entrepreneurs either, the survey found. Only 11% said they plan to hire if the package becomes law, with 68% responding that they still do not plan to hire.

"President Obama's jobs proposal is once again off the mark," Springer said. "It's not as much of a surprise that they're not going to hire, it just reinforces what we've known—they are looking for evidence of demand, creation and new customers. Until they see increased demand or more revenue come in, they will be (less) likely to hire. Tax credits and the like are not revenue drivers."