Small Business Owners Say: Cut Taxpayer Subsidies to Big Business (And Taxes Matter Least to Top-Growth Entrepreneurs)


A large national poll of independent business owners finds that cutting taxpayer subsidies to big business is their top-rated public policy priority. And a smaller survey of high-growth entrepreneurs finds that the last things they are concerned about are low taxes or business-friendly regulations.

The large poll, conducted by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Advocates for Independent Business, surveyed 2,602 small business owners nationwide. It asked them which two public policy changes would most help their business. Their single most common reply (36 percent) was “eliminate public subsidies for big companies.”

The smaller survey, by Endeavor (a global network for accelerating entrepreneurship), surveyed 150 founders of some of the fastest-growing companies in the United States. It asked them why they chose the locations in which they built their businesses. Their typical answer: before starting their company, they moved to a city of one million or more because of personal connections and quality of life. Their most critical business reason for staying was a pool of talented labor, followed by access to customers and suppliers.

Only five percent cited low taxes and only two percent cited business-friendly regulations as a reason for choosing their successful location.

Watch this blog for big news soon from Good Jobs First on the issue of subsidies to big business.

3 Responses to “Small Business Owners Say: Cut Taxpayer Subsidies to Big Business (And Taxes Matter Least to Top-Growth Entrepreneurs)”

  1. Todd Smekens Says:

    Reblogged this on Middletown Voice.

  2. Jeff Smith Says:

    In the US, regulations are not as big a problem as in the nations listed by deSoto in his work on capitalism where people must wait years for permits. That said, even if most businesses here don’t run into trouble, some still do, and none should.

    Instead of regulate and permit (or not) and otherwise interfere, governments could instead get out of the limited liability business. To minimize liability and ruinous lawsuits, business would conduct its affairs safely and buy sufficient insurance coverage.

    And to attract talented labor, customers, and suppliers, there is something any town can do to make itself such a destination city. It’s something cities across the Pacific used to help themselves become the Asian Tigers. And that is, shift the property tax off buildings, onto locations. Then to pay the higher “land dues”, the owners quit speculating and develop their sites. The development stimulates the local economy and the second wave of businesses that fill the new structures keep the good growth going.

    This property tax shift does not directly fall on new businesses but it does create a context that favors start-ups. Indeed, in the recession before last, the Australian towns that taxed land not only did not lose businesses but actually added them! Good ol’ geonomics worked again!

    So smart taxes and efficient land use matter, as does eliminating the financial favors for bigger insiders. More at

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    Small Business Owners Say: Cut Taxpayer Subsidies to Big Business (And Taxes Matter Least to Top-Growth Entrepreneurs) |

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