Small Business Advocate Poll: Suspend business growth plans until after 2012 election?

The Question: How likely are you to suspend business growth plans until after the 2012 election?

45% - Very likely
45% - Not likely
10% - Uncertain

My Commentary:

The U.S. economy will end the year with a GDP growth number of less than 2%. For the past decade, that would be a stellar year for Europe, but for the largest economy on the planet, that’s about half of what we’re capable of.

One of the most plausible reasons given for why the U.S. economy is still languishing is uncertainty. Businesses, especially small businesses, are uncertain about many things: debates about whether to raise taxes; the impact of the new health care law; banking industry issues; growing federal budget deficits and the national debt, just to name a few. Consequently, the logic follows, businesses are playing their risk cards close to the vest.

One of the most common predictions is that the next event that will will cause the pent-up growth pressure to break the dam of uncertainty will be changes in Washington as a result of the next election in November 2012. So we wanted to know how the members of our small business audience would respond to this question: “How likely are you to suspend business growth plans until after the 2012 election?” Frankly, the results were a little surprising.

Those who were “very likely” to postpone growth plans until after the election came in at 45% of our sample. And those who were “not likely” to suspend growth plans came in at the exact same number - 45%. 10% were “uncertain.”

Even though our unscientific online poll didn’t produce the numbers that conventional wisdom would seem to indicate, it is still significant that essentially half of our respondents were putting their growth plans on hold for another year. Plus it corresponds with my earlier point about the economy doing about half as well as it should be.

Check out my recent audio commentary on small business growth plans for 2012. Listen or download.

For more great SBA content, click HERE!

To take this week’s poll, click HERE!

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