PALO ALTO, Calif. — Thirty-four percent of small-business owners want President-elect Barack Obama to pass an economic stimulus package as his first step when taking office Jan. 20, according to a recent PayCycle Inc. survey.
The survey, conducted Nov. 19-26, compiled responses from 321 small businesses randomly selected from PayCycle’s national base of more than 75,000 small-business customers.
“These survey results underscore the passion small-business owners are showing for the macroeconomic issues confronting them,” says Jim Heeger, president and chief executive officer of PayCycle. “The variety and depth of responses show how involved and concerned small-business owners are, not only about their individual businesses and their local situations, but also about the national economy as a whole.”
The survey also found that nearly 53% of small-business owners pay some kind of year-end bonus, either to themselves, to their employees or both. Of those who do pay bonuses, more than half (58%) plan to cancel them altogether (26%) or cancel their own personal bonuses (32%) so that they can still pay employees. Almost half (43%) of small-business owners who hold an annual holiday party are either cancel it or “toning it down.”
Twenty-four percent of respondents identified “fixing health care” as the issue they would advise Obama to tackle first, while 9% suggested fixing Social Security. Only 3% wanted to see more bailout packages.
When asked which national issue had the most direct impact on business in 2008, 32% of respondents named the slowdown in consumer spending. Respondents also listed the credit crisis and problems in the housing industry (21%), the decline in the stock market (15%), and the summer spike in gasoline prices (18%). The remaining 14% gave answers ranging from “lack of healthcare reform” to the rise in unemployment. Only a few respondents commented that their businesses had experienced no negative fallout from the economic crisis.