SmallBiz Vote

Seven small biz questions for the Presidential debate

Small businesses want the candidates to discuss key issues

Domestic policy, presumably including topics of interest to small businesses, will be debated by the U.S. presidential candidates Wednesday evening in Denver starting at 9:00 pm ET. What single issue of interest to small businesses would you like to hear President Obama and Governor Romney discuss?

Yahoo! Small Business Advisor asked leaders of six small business organizations what one crucial question they want the candidates to answer during the debate. If small business advocates were hosting the debate, here's what they'd ask:

1. John Arensmeyer, founder, The Small Business Majority: What will you do to specifically improve the opportunity for small businesses to have access to working credit?

2. Ryan Paugh, co-founder & chief of staff, Young Entrepreneur Council: The JOBS Act, signed last spring at the White House, is a tremendous leap in the right direction. However, there are still many opponents who believe that the way the SEC has set up the new law actually makes investing more difficult. How do you plan to embrace crowdfunding during your term to support the hundreds of thousands of new business created every month in the United States?

3. Ken Yancey, CEO, SCORE: Given current small business concerns like burdensome regulation, tax issues, healthcare, and the pending fiscal cliff, what three specific actions would you take to ensure growth in the small business sector of the American economy?

4. Michael Simmons, cofounder & partner, Empact: How will you infuse the entrepreneurial mindset into the fabric of society via its institutions so that every man, woman, and child is exposed to it and inspired to use it?

5. Dan Danner, CEO, National Federation Independent Businesses: How will raising the top income tax rate impact job creation, given that so many employers are organized as pass-through entities and pay taxes at the individual rates?

6. and 7. Kristie Arslan, president & CEO, National Association for the Self Employed, who, as representative of the largest sector of small business owners—the self-employed—and the only woman speaking for small business in this group, gets two questions:

With over 22 million self-employed Americans, representing 78 percent of the business population, in your view what is the role of America's smallest businesses in our economy and what would you do as President to encourage self-employment and nurture these businesses?

The Small Business Administration characterizes small business as one with 500 or less employees. How do you define small business, and more importantly, what markers do you use to characterize a successful business venture: Is it job creation, revenue generation, or a sustainable household income?

Tune in Wednesday night to see if the candidates provide answers. And let us know in the comments what you would ask them if you could!

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