With midterm elections on Tuesday, November 6th, business owners are letting Americans know what their top issues are before they even head to the polls. Paychex, Inc., a leading provider of human capital management solutions to include payroll, benefits, insurance, and human resources services for small and medium-sized businesses, polled 600 business owners to rank their top voting issues concerning their business for the upcoming 2018 midterm elections. Companies polled employed from 1-500 personnel. Here are the results:
- It’s not really a surprise that economic growth ranks #1 on the list for small and medium-sized business owners. 25% of business owners polled ranked it as their most important issue, while 63% ranked economic growth among their top three most important issues.
- Taxes came in a close second, with 23% of respondents ranking taxes as their most important issue and 62% placed it in their top three.
- In third place falls Healthcare with 20% identifying it as their top issue and it was in the top three of 48% of respondents.
- In order of importance, wage legislation (i.e. minimum wage laws, overtime rules, and pay equity) (26%), immigration (23%), foreign trade and tariffs (21%), and mandatory paid sick/family leave laws (14%) subsequently followed.
Business size impacted how important certain issues are to business owners:
- Business owners who employ more people typically ranked wage legislation and mandatory paid sick/family leave laws in their top three issues. 26% of business owners with less than 19 employees ranked wage legislation in their top three most important issues. 48% of owners that employed between 20-99 personnel and 46% who employed 100-500 employees also ranked wage legislation in their top three.
- Conversely, business owners with fewer employees ranked mandatory paid sick/family leave laws at a lower rate than business owners who employ more personnel. The topic ranked last on the list for businesses with 1-19 employees at 13%, while 35% of businesses who employed 20-99 and 100-500 ranked the issue in their top three.
The survey also revealed how top issues are ranking according to different demographics:
- According to region, the South, Midwest, and Northeast fell in line with the National trend in selecting economic growth, taxes, and healthcare in their top three issues. The West differed slightly, favoring government regulation and complexity above healthcare as the third most important issue.
- Similarly, both male and female business owners selected economic growth and taxes as their top two issues. However, male business owners selected government regulation and complexity third, while female business owners ranked healthcare as the third most important issue.
While we won’t know how the results of the poll will hold up during the midterm elections, the numbers give preliminary insight into the priorities of American small and medium-sized business owners. Paychex president and CEO, Martin Mucci states,
“Though every business is unique, there are universal issues that impact all businesses’ abilities to grow and thrive. Economic growth, taxes, and healthcare are among these…Each of these issues has seen legislative activity since the 2016 election, and many business owners will be reflecting on the impact those changes are having on their business to help inform how they’ll vote in November.”
To follow up on the results, check out the in-depth analysis session that Paychex is hosting where noted columnist Gene Marks, Paychex director of compliance risk Mike Trabold, and Paychex government relations manager Thad Inge will focus on what the results of midterm elections mean for the future of small and medium-sized businesses.