2016 Elections Need to be About Small Business and Entrepreneurship

By at 10 April, 2016, 6:53 pm


For every presidential debate, SBE Council has been keeping small business owners and entrepreneurs up-to-date on where the candidates stand on key small business issues. Unfortunately at these debates, entrepreneurs and their top issues of concern have not been discussed all that much. It seems debate moderators are not that interested.

We are now down to five remaining candidates. On the Democrat side, Clinton leads Sanders on delegates won by a count of 1756-1068.  Clinton has 1287 delegates and 469 superdelegates while Sanders has 1037 delegates and 31 superdelegates.

On the Republican side, Trump leads the delegate count with 743, followed by Cruz (517), and Kasich (143). Rubio collected 171 delegates during his run.

Entrepreneurs and Small Business Issues

Issues impacting entrepreneurship and small business need to be front and center on the campaign trail and during the debates. After all, Americans are concerned about their economic future, and healthy entrepreneurship and small business growth are critical to getting the economy back on a strong and sustainable growth track.

A January 2016 survey by Gallup found “government” to be the biggest concern among Americans (just topping the economy) for 2015. This was the second straight year Americans cited “government” as their top concern. We all know that government policies play a central role in whether startups and small businesses succeed, wither, or go under. A February 2016 Gallup survey found that Americans said the economy is currently the “most important problem facing the country.”  A March 2016 Gallup poll has the economy and dissatisfaction with government as the number one and two issues of concern. Unemployment and jobs come in at number three. Only 27% are satisfied with the way things are going in the United States.

A survey released on March 30 by lender OnDeck found that small business owners want the presidential candidates to address three critical issues this election season: economic growth (67 percent), tax policy (46 percent) and healthcare costs (35 percent).

Again, policies that encourage more entrepreneurship and business growth are central to getting the economy back to strong growth and quality job creation.

Where the Candidates Stand

The sluggish recovery and the long stretch of uncertainty have played a role in limited risk-taking by entrepreneurs. Diminished business formation means less growth and fewer jobs for our economy. So, which candidates have the best plans to support strong entrepreneurship and small business growth?

SBE Council continues to update the “small business snapshots” on where each candidate stands on issues. We have outlined positions and proposals on taxes and tax reform, health care reform and Obamacare, regulation, trade, immigration, and energy.  Where applicable, we have included information about governing records, past positions, and vote ratings. Also included: Resource links to SBE Council’s views, research, and positions on key issues.

Candidate profile links:




Hillary Clinton



Bernie Sanders




Ted Cruz



John Kasich



Donald Trump


As the campaign rolls on and additional details emerge about candidate positions and proposals, our staff will continue to update profiles.

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