2020 election could be make-or-break for millions of small business owners


New survey shows that one in ten small business owners believe they’ll have to shut permanently if their candidate doesn’t win the election.


NEW YORK — It happens in every election. A politician claims, “This is the most important election of your lifetime.” For small business owners however, a new survey finds many entrepreneurs will enter the voting booth truly believing that this November. One in five say the outcome of the 2020 presidential election could put their business in jeopardy.

The poll of 500 U.S. business owners also reveals one in 10 Americans believe they will have to close for good if their candidate doesn’t win. With their financial futures at stake, researchers find 95 percent are planning to vote either in-person (55%) or by mail (40%).

The survey, commissioned by Vistaprint, shows that 11 percent of respondents will be voting for the first time as a small business owner. Around five percent will vote after a long time away from the ballot box.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and their votes are paramount in every election, but especially this year,” Vistaprint’s Erin Shea says in a statement.

Like many previous elections, the economy is a major factor for voters. Two in three respondents say the economy is the top issue in 2020, followed by affordable health care (43%), and small business tax reform (26%). Nearly 40 percent are buying into the belief this is the most important election for small businesses in the country.

How COVID will impact 2020 election

While COVID-19 won’t be keeping most entrepreneurs away from the polls, 77 percent of small business owners voting in-person say they hope face masks will be mandatory on Election Day. Another 75 percent also want social distancing enforced and 58 percent want is see proper directions and signs in place at polling sites. For those choosing to vote by mail, more than half say it’s because they worry about getting sick while in line.

Although only five percent of business owners are not planning to vote, they have a variety of reasons for skipping the November election. Forty-one percent say they’re fed up with politics, 33 percent believe their vote won’t matter, and 15 percent say they don’t like any of the candidates. Despite not wanting to vote, three in 10 entrepreneurs would change their mind if they “knew” it would make a difference.

COVID-19 is adding several more issues to the 2020 election, as the nation continues to recover from the global lockdown. Business owners say safety and public health restrictions on companies are also weighing on their minds. Relief bills like the Paycheck Protection Program are also a factor for 17 percent of respondents.

Most small business owners expect to make it through pandemic

One-third of small business owners say they’re anxious or worried about the 2020 presidential election. Another 16 percent admit the result actually scares them. One in six believe their company may have to make big changes depending on the outcome.

Regardless of who is president in 2021, 74 percent are confident their business will survive the pandemic.

“The pandemic has devastated communities across the nation, and we have seen that small businesses have been hit particularly hard. Participation in this upcoming election is pivotal and is reflected in the survey as nearly all respondents (95 percent) intend to vote in November,” Shea adds.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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