Our Research: Workforce
While small business owners spend their days concentrating on whatever their particular specialty is--be it marketing services, dry cleaning or landscaping, there's one thing they all have in common: they have to contend with a host of larger issues ranging from employee pay and benefits, medical leave issues, nondiscrimination and more. These are issues they deal with often times on a daily basis, which means they know better than most what kind of solutions would be helpful when shaping public policy. The topics below clearly outline small business owners' opinions on these important workforce topics.
It’s no secret that the spread of COVID-19 around the country has already had a devastating impact on small businesses. With the economy on pause and uncertainty gripping communities across the country, Main Street has been left to cope with how to stay afloat during this unprecedented time.
California Governor Newsom and state policymakers are discussing options to further expand California's Paid Family Leave program and ensure more Californians are able to utilize it by increasing wage replacement, extending the amount of leave time available and expanding job protection status for parental leave. As with any discussion of workplace benefits and employment laws, the impact to small business is central to this debate. New scientific opinion polling sheds light on their views on the different proposals and reveals they are in fact supportive of numerous options on the table.
Policymakers at all levels, from town councils to the halls of Capitol Hill, emphasize the challenges of small businesses as a key talking point during political debates. But new opinion polling in four states—Illinois, Missouri, Virginia and Wisconsin—reveals small businesses feel their government officials don’t actually understand their challenges, and they support a wide array of policies to address their needs, some of which might come as a surprise to their elected officials.
This Chicago-based research explores issues related to small business workforce development, particularly for business owners of color located in low- and moderate-income communities. Small Business Majority interviewed and convened local small business owners and business service organizations for roundtable discussions during a six-month research project to learn about key challenges in hiring and managing employees. Overall, the research indicates that small business owners have limited capacity and resources to improve workforce management.
The Colorado state legislature is considering a bill that would make Colorado the seventh state in the country to establish a program guaranteeing access to paid leave to care for a newborn child or a sick family member. Small business owners and their employees are particularly affected by the current lack of access to paid family leave as many small businesses can’t afford to offer robust benefits, putting them at a disadvantage with their larger counterparts. Small business has been central to ongoing debates over the legislation, and new polling sheds light on their views on the proposal and their struggles to offer access to paid family and medical leave benefits.
This report compiles findings from focus groups and roundtable discussions with rural small business owners and other small business stakeholders in four states, as well as the results of a national poll of rural small business owners. The report also features recommendations for policymakers and service providers to increase opportunities for rural entrepreneurs.
Recent scientific opinion polling reveals small business and freelancers need more flexible retirement options. The poll found small employers struggle to offer retirement benefits, and are increasingly turning to independent workers to meet their needs. Additionally, small employers overwhelmingly support state-administered retirement savings plans and other policies that would make it easier for them to offer retirement benefits.
Small Business Majority released a national scientific opinion poll—including oversamples in five states—that found small business owners oppose denying services to LGBT customers based on religious beliefs, rights to free speech or freedom of artistic expression. Further, the poll showed that a majority of small businesses support enacting federal and state laws to protect LGBT individuals from discrimination in places of public accommodation. Small business owners feel that nondiscrimination policies are good for their state’s business climate and their own business’s bottom line.
Small Business Majority released a scientific opinion poll that found small business owners and their employees are impacted by a lack of access to high-quality, affordable child care. Further, the poll showed that a majority of small businesses support expanding federal programs to increase access to child care through both direct federal assistance and expanded tax credits to help working families struggling with the cost of child care.
Small Business Majority released a scientific opinion poll that found the majority of small businesses support publicly-administered paid family and medical leave insurance programs, which would allow employees to receive partial income when they need to take time off to recover from a serious illness or care for a new child or sick family member.