The Small Business Take on Clean Energy Investments and Clean Air Standards

Across the United States, Main Street small businesses are working to rebuild our economy. These entrepreneurs, who have created two out of every three jobs over the past two decades, are doing all they can to hire, grow and move their businesses forward. One of the ways they’re doing it is through innovation—particularly in the clean energy arena.

Small Business Majority’s opinion polling earlier this year found that across all industries and at both ends of the political spectrum, entrepreneurs overwhelmingly support government investing in renewable energy, and are looking for clean energy policies that will help guide them into a new economic sector rife with business opportunities. The poll found 71 percent of entrepreneurs believe government investments in clean energy play an important role in stimulating the economy and creating jobs now, and large majorities also support clean air standards being implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In fact, 76 percent of entrepreneurs agree the EPA should be allowed to determine limits on new power plants’ emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, despite the fact that 57 percent say their businesses would be impacted directly by EPA oversight of such emissions. What’s more, entrepreneurs understand that the long-term benefits of clean air outweigh the upfront costs: 56 percent support EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions even if it means an increase in utility prices.

Carbon pollution rules aren’t the only clean air standards small business owners see as beneficial. A vast 82 percent support EPA requirements to reduce emissions of mercury and other toxics from power plants, and the “Good Neighbor Rule,” which requires a reduction of smog and soot crossing state lines, garnered support from three-quarters of respondents.

Entrepreneurs want to be part of the competitive, modern economy clean energy investments and clean air standards can create—but they need help getting there. Running a successful small business is tough, especially during a slow fiscal recovery. There’s just not enough time in the day or money in their pockets for entrepreneurs to innovate their businesses single-handedly. Increased efforts to implement EPA clean air standards can help ensure American entrepreneurs see new opportunities, along with long-term economic benefits, that allow them to retain their status as the backbone of our economy.