Monthly Archive for September, 2012

Small Business Advocate Poll: Political conventions, Does anybody care?

The Question:
How much of the Republican Party Convention will you watch this week?

42% - As much as possible

32% - Probably just the last night

15% - None - conventions are no longer relevant

10% - Not interested in the Romney/Ryan message

My Comments:
The first political convention was held in 1766 to nominate a candidate for governor of Connecticut. The first convention to nominate a president was in 1831 held by the Mason Party, with Democrats and Republicans holding their first conventions in 1832.

Since the first presidential conventions - and for most of America’s political history - they served the purpose of selecting the nominee of each party, including many hotly contested and acrimonious events. For most of the past half century, however, conventions have served little more than to be a showcase for the incumbent and/or the last candidate standing in each party after the primary process - about 99% production and 1% nominating process.

Consequently, with the possibility of virtually no drama or surprises, conventions have become less of a big deal in America in the past generation. Indeed, where broadcast television networks once practiced the term they coined of “gavel to gavel” coverage, the big three - ABC, NBC and CBS - have reduced coverage from three or four hours a day for five convention days, to only the last hour each day.

We wanted to know how our small business audience felt about watching the GOP convention this year, so last week we asked this question: “How much of the Republican Party Convention will you watch this week?” Here’s what you told us.

One in ten of our respondents said, “Not interested in the Romney/Ryan message,” 15% said, “None - the conventions are no longer relevant,” and almost one third of our sample said, “Probably just the last night.” But the big number, 42%, said “As much as possible.”

This week the Democrats will stage their convention in Charlotte, N.C., where the Obama-Biden team will be nominated again. So our new poll asks the same question as last week, except for the party name change. Please make sure to register your answer.

It will be interesting to see how the new poll compares to last week’s response. I’ll have a final comment on both surveys next week. Stay tuned.

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

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Take this week’s poll HERE!

Small Business Advocate Poll:Small business owners will make tough decisions

Twentieth century promises made by our government are coming due in 21st century reality and there is a problem: These entitlements are not sustainable financially long-term. That means adjustments will be made in one of two ways: 1) Proactively and soon, in a planned way that attempts to make the programs sustainable; or 2) In default, several years from now, when they run out of money.

We wanted to know how our audience felt about this scenario, so last week, we asked this question:

“Should we start making entitlements - Social Security, Medicare, etc. - self-sustaining now, even if it adjusts your own expectations?” Here’s what we learned.

Two percent said “No, the government should fulfill its promises, and four percent were undecided. But 94% said, “Yes, better to manage the inevitable than wait for the collapse.

See?! This is what happens when you ask small business owners about a problem. They evaluate it, get to the problem, take the steps necessary to fix it and move on to the next issue.

Yet another example of why I say if you want to fix America ask a small business owner how to do it.

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Click here to download or listen to more of what I have to say on how small businesses would solve the entitlement issues.

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Take this week’s poll HERE!

America should have a National Small Business Day

Some say Matthew Maguire is the father of Labor Day – others say it was Peter McGuire. Both cared greatly for an important segment of the marketplace, its workers.

Regardless of paternity, such a day was first celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, when members of the CLU took an unpaid day off to demonstrate solidarity and, of course, have picnics.

In 1884, President Cleveland designated the first Monday in September as Labor Day and an official federal holiday.

In 1898, Samuel Gompers, then head of the American Federation of Labor, called Labor Day, “The day when toilers’ rights and wrongs would be discussed … that workers may lay down their tools for a holiday … touch shoulders in marching phalanx and feel the stronger for it.”

Alas, entrepreneurs aren’t organized like our unions, probably because we’re too busy making payroll. There is no official Small Business Owners Day set aside by the government as a holiday to salute the few who do so much for so many; a day to honor the real marketplace heroes, small business owners.

There actually is a small business week when the U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes the “creme de la creme” of entrepreneurs in America. But it’s not a federal holiday, and not always the same week each year.

Labor Day was created primarily to recognize union members. Today, this group represents barely 11% of total workers and has declined to less than 7% of the private sector.

Small businesses represent over 98% of all U.S. businesses, produce over half of the U.S. GDP, and sign the FRONT of the paychecks of over half (70 million) of all U.S. workers. Let’s see: big deal on Labor Day; but no Small Business Day. What’s wrong with this picture?

So, what’s the answer?

Let’s celebrate Small Business Day as no other national holiday has been: on a Sunday, to save payroll expense. August is the month-of-choice because that’s when politicians are home on recess. This way they can practice casting their pearls before small business owners in preparation for eating barbeque with the unions on Labor Day.

To paraphrase Samuel Gompers, small business owners deserve a day for which these signers-of-the-front-of-paychecks have their rights and wrongs discussed; that the small employers of our day may not only lay down their challenges for a holiday, but also touch shoulders in marching phalanx and feel the stronger for it.

It’s time for a National Small Business Owners Day.

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I talked more about creating a National Small Business Owners Day today on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate. Click here to download or listen.

Check out more great SBA content HERE!




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