PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - Oct 15, 2012) - As the engines of economic growth through job creation and innovation, small businesses are getting more attention this election season than ever before. In a poll of 70 individual small business owners and C-level executives throughout Pennsylvania released today by ParenteBeard, 86 percent of those surveyed said they hope Mitt Romney will win the presidential election, yet 60 percent expect Barack Obama will be triumphant in November. Furthermore, an overwhelming majority of respondents (71 percent) believe that Romney cares more about small businesses than his counterpart.
When it comes to the economy, the results indicate that small business owners and leaders in Pennsylvania are also largely in favor of Romney. Seventy-three percent of respondents believe Romney will be better for the economy overall, while only 11 percent see a brighter economic picture regardless of who wins. What's more, one in ten respondents believe the country's economic outlook is poor no matter the outcome of the election. When asked which candidate they feel will be better able to avoid the fiscal cliff, Romney was again favored by the vast majority of respondents (69 percent). Only 14 percent believe it will get figured out regardless of who wins, with 11 percent having no confidence in either candidate on this issue.
"With both candidates vowing to champion small businesses throughout their campaigns and hinting at how their proposed policies would do so, the perspectives of small business owners are of increasing interest," said John Nealon, ParenteBeard's managing partner of its Northern region and small business practice leader. "Regardless of who wins the November election, small business owners need to be prepared to move forward in any environment by arming themselves with the knowledge and support needed to navigate any potential outcomes."
When asked how the election is affecting their hiring decisions, small business owners and leaders were evenly split. Thirty-nine percent say they are waiting until after the election to increase their headcount, while 30 percent say the outcome of the election is not a factor in their headcount decisions. Thirty-one percent said they have no plans to increase their headcount either way. When asked about the biggest challenge to their particular small business, the most common response was trying to grow in an uncertain economy (32 percent). Twenty-two percent of respondents cited the cost of health insurance, 14 percent cited declines in consumer spending, while 12 percent cited the challenges of recruiting qualified, talented new hires. When asked which candidate respondents believed would better address their greatest challenge, 87 percent favor Romney.
"Small-business owners are searching for a president who will create economic stability and implement policies that will allow business owners to thrive," said Nealon. "While many owners are in a holding pattern until after the election, now is actually a good time for small businesses to take control of their financial picture, reassess their financial goals, practices and spending patterns and create plans to address potential financial uncertainties. This will give them flexibility no matter what happens in November."
ParenteBeard is ranked among the top 25 accounting firms in the U.S. A leader in providing CPA and business advisory services to small businesses, middle market companies, nonprofits and SEC registrants, ParenteBeard has 1,100 professionals located throughout the Mid Atlantic region. As an independent member of Baker Tilly International, ParenteBeard is proud to provide the highest level of service to clients nationally and internationally.
For more information, please visit ParenteBeard at www.ParenteBeard.com