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Presidential Debate Shines Spotlight on Small Businesses’ Importance to Economy


Small businesses’ vital importance to our economy and our recovery was underscored in tonight’s presidential debate, as both candidates focused much of their discussion on the state of small businesses and how to help them. It’s encouraging to see the candidates’ passion for the small business community, and their acknowledgement that small businesses are the backbone of our economy and create the bulk of new jobs.
However, any new pro-small business policies must help the majority of real, mom and pop businesses in America—not a small sliver of the business community.
A key point in the debate focused on whether small businesses would be impacted if tax cuts for high-income earners were allowed to expire at the end of the year. In fact, only 3 percent of small businesses would be affected if the “Bush tax cuts” expired, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. What’s more, many of those businesses would hardly be considered small by anyone’s standards: the committee found many of them would have revenues of more than $50 million a year.
The small businesses that line Main Street, that employ and service our local communities, are not the ones who would benefit from these cuts. And we know they don’t support extending the cuts, either. Our national polling found the majority of small businesses agree the tax cuts should lapse. What’s more, our poll showed only 3 percent of respondents had annual household income above $250,000.  
The candidates also talked about healthcare reform and clean energy—both of which are important issues for small businesses. Our polling showed small business support for the Affordable Care Act when the majority said they didn’t think the Supreme Court should overturn it. They also see economic opportunities when it comes to clean energy: 71 percent of poll respondents believe it’s important that government continues to invest in clean energy.
We hope small businesses stay front and center throughout the campaign, but that lawmakers don’t use them as pawns in a larger political chess game. That’s a game Main Street businesses can’t afford to lose. 
We are a national nonpartisan small business advocacy organization founded and run by small business owners and focused on solving the biggest problems facing America’s 28 million small businesses. We conduct extensive opinion and economic research and work with small business owners, policy experts and elected officials nationwide to bring small business voices to the public policy table.
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