What Washington should fix first: the top four gripes of small business owners

    By Adrienne Burke | Small Business

    If you're a small business owner suffering the effects of the stalled economy, you're far from alone. More than 70 percent of respondents to a Yahoo! Small Business survey this month said they're hurting. Detailed results of the survey—which polled 250 owners of businesses that employ between 1 and 100—is available here.

    An open-ended survey question asked respondents "what one issue affecting your business would you like to see policymakers address?" The most common replies focused on taxes, access to capital, healthcare, and unemployment.

    Do these business owners' comments echo your sentiments? What would you add to the list?

    On taxes:
    •    "Taxes on the small business man are thru the roof and need to be addressed."
    •    "[Give us] clear, simple tax codes so we can gauge our future expenses accurately."
    •    "We need real incentives and real tax breaks for the Mom and Pop companies."
    •    "I want [policymakers] to recognize that taxes are killing small businesses."
    •    "Small businesses need tax cuts so we can employ more people and invest more in our businesses."

    On access to capital:
    •    "We bailed [the banks] out, they gave themselves big bonuses, and now there are so many regulations people can't get loans!"
    •    "The access to capital for small businesses is nonexistent. The only way you can secure any money is if you already have lots of it."
    •    "The Small Business Administration should ramp up its loan guarantee and direct-lending programs to stimulate growth."
    •    "Give credit to small and midsize businesses. Regulations make it too hard for banks to loan."
    •    "The tight monetary policy has limited the growth of the businesses with which I do the bulk of my business."

    On healthcare:
    •    "Eliminate the 'Obamacare' healthcare law and replace it with a more balanced market-oriented reform that promotes competition among health care providers and places more responsibility for choice of services on the individual."
    •    "Get the Feds out of the healthcare business."
    •     "Do not make healthcare coverage mandatory for employers. This causes 'entrepreneurship lock,' and I will not hire people because of the insurance obligations I have.
    •    "'Obamacare' is going to cost me my home and put me out of business."
    •    "Help me provide good health insurance for my employees. I want to keep and reward the good employees I have, and be able to attract other good hires with affordable benefits."

    On the economy:
    •    "Consumers are broke. I can't make money if they don't have money to spend."
    •    "It's tough to retain clients in this economy. Unemployment in other industries impacts my business."
    •    "Customers are cutting entertainment and can't pay their bills. Get the economy moving!"
    •    "My business has been in a serious slump because consumers are not spending."
    •    "Jobs. The more jobs people have, the more money they're able to spend at local businesses."

    If you're a small business owner, tell us what issues you'd like to see policymakers address. Share in the comments section, or at #SmallBizVote on Twitter.

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