New Opinion Poll, TV Ad Highlight Colorado Small Businesses' Support for Protecting Public Lands, Balanced Energy Policy That Ensures Protection of State's Natural Assets

For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Small Business Majority releases opinion poll and TV advertisement revealing public lands are a large part of why Colorado small businesses live and do business in the state; majority find the president's all-of-the-above energy policy most attractive if it balances protection of public lands

Colorado small business owners strongly believe the preservation of the state's natural assets is essential to their financial success and that of local economies, and they support the president's all-of-the-above strategy to develop new energy resources, particularly if it includes provisions to protect public lands, according to opinion polling released today by Small Business Majority.

The poll, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, found nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of Colorado small business owners agree, with 43 percent strongly agreeing, that access to parks, public lands and other outdoor opportunities is a large part of the reason they live and do business in Colorado. Exactly half agree Colorado's national parks, forests, monuments and wildlife habitats are not only an essential part of the outdoor culture and quality of life, but also one of the reasons they do business there. Four in 10 strongly agree.

In addition, 72 percent support the president's all-of-the-above energy strategy, which promotes development of various energy sources including solar, wind, natural gas, oil, coal and more. But they find this policy even more attractive if it takes steps to ensure some areas remain accessible to visitors and free of development: 55 percent would be more likely to support an all-of-the-above strategy that takes that extra step. This is more than double the percentage of owners who would be less likely (26 percent). On Wednesday, Small Business Majority will release a commercial in the Denver area demonstrating support from real small business owners who are looking for an all-of-the-above energy approach that protects public lands.

Very recently, I moved my company to Colorado because I knew it was the ideal place to find the right customer demographic and the most well-suited employees, to make my business thrive, said John Land Le Coq, owner of Fishpond Inc. and Lilypond Inc. in Denver. As a company that offers outdoor products, it's important to us that we use our business to spread the word on issues that revolve around the outdoors. We didn't start the company this way, but it became who we are because of the big impact that protecting the outdoors has on the success of our business.

A recent proposal in Congress that garnered small business support in the poll would establish Browns Canyon and the Arkansas River Valley as a national monument. Two-thirds support this proposal, which would allow continued vehicle access and public use of Browns Canyon such as hunting, fishing and rafting, but prohibit new oil and gas drilling, and other development.

In addition, small business owners agree, by a 4:1 ratio, that protecting public lands by designating new national monuments and national parks would positively (rather than negatively) impact local jobs and the economy. Another 53 percent feel such efforts would positively impact small business opportunities tied to public lands, and 51 percent say it would help Colorado attract and retain entrepreneurs and new businesses.

Our nation's most prolific job creators are asking that smart steps are taken to preserve Colorado's natural assets because they believe it's good for business, said John Arensmeyer, founder & CEO of Small Business Majority. It's evident public lands play an important role in entrepreneurs decisions to open businesses in Colorado. And they've seen firsthand that protecting those areas can attract business, which is why they'd like to see national monuments established to preserve them, and it's why they are asking lawmakers to balance public lands protection as they develop new energy policies.

This was not just a poll of owners whose income is related to outdoor activities. In fact, 87 percent report their revenue is not tied to open space in any way, such as selling outdoor equipment, offering bike tours or even just owning a business near a touristy outdoor area. When asked how their businesses are faring, 41 percent of Colorado small business owners say they're doing well, while only 12 percent say they're not doing well.

Additional findings from the poll include:

  • 83 percent agree we can protect land and water, create jobs and maintain a vibrant economy simultaneously.
  • 93 percent believe national parks, forests, monuments and wildlife areas are important to Colorado's economy.
  • 92 percent believe public spaces drawing tourists can boost business for local restaurants, hotels, grocery stores and more.
  • 66 percent believe we should not allow more private companies to develop public lands when doing so would limit the public's enjoyment of them.
  • 53 percent identified as Republican or independent-leaning Republican, 28 percent identified as Democrat or independent-leaning Democrat and 18 percent identified as Independent.

For more information, visit:

This poll reflects an Internet survey of 400 small business owners in Colorado, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico drawn from Research Now Panel and conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for Small Business Majority. The survey was conducted from May 1-7, 2012. The overall margin of error is +/- 4.9%.

Who is the Small Business Majority?

Small Business Majority is a national small business advocacy organization, founded and run by small business owners, to support America's 28 million small businesses. We conduct extensive opinion and economic research and work with our rapidly growing network of small business owners across the country to ensure their voices are an integral part of the public policy debate. Learn more about us on Wikipedia and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.