Opinion Poll: Small Businesses Support Infrastructure Improvements, Tax Increases to Pay for Them

For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, June 8, 2021

New survey reveals small business owners favor investment in roads and bridges, broadband and clean energy; support funding new projects with 15% minimum tax on corporate profits

Small businesses strongly favor key provisions of the American Jobs Plan, and they support paying for them by enacting reforms that would require wealthy corporations and individuals to pay a higher share of taxes, according to a new survey of small business owners. 

The survey, which consists of opinion polling from business owners in Small Business Majority’s national network, found broad support for key provisions of President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure improvement package, including the following investments:  

  • Improving the nation’s physical infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, and airports (79% support, 58% strong support) 
  • Expanded and enhanced broadband infrastructure (76% support, 53% strong support)
  • Community-based small business incubators and innovation hubs to spur entrepreneurship (80% support, 59% strong support)
  • Programs that support the nation’s manufacturers (75% support, 50% strong support)
  • Clean energy and clean water projects (83% support, 63% strong support)
  • Increased opportunities for small firms to obtain federal contracts to work on infrastructure projects (80% support, 63% strong support)

“My business is based out of my home, but being in a rural area and living on Native American tribal land means I don’t have access to the infrastructure that many businesses often take for granted, including high-speed internet,” said Shayai Lucero, owner of Earth & Sky Floral Designs in Laguna, N.M. “Even though a fiber optic data line runs outside my house, I can’t get access to it. This has been incredibly challenging during COVID-19 because I had to pivot my business to online only, and without improved access to digital infrastructure, it will be very difficult for me to survive in a crowded marketplace—let alone grow my business.”

The survey also asked small businesses about how we should pay for new infrastructure investments, and a majority favor proposed tax reforms to fund these improvements. More than 3 in 4 (76%) small businesses support a proposal that would establish a 15% minimum tax on profits that the largest corporations report to their investors, known as “book income,” which would stop firms from using manipulated “taxable income” to pay little or nothing in taxes. Another proposal that would increase the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% to help pay for infrastructure investments found support from 52% of small businesses owners; just 18% said they are strongly opposed.

Additionally, Small Business Majority’s survey finds that small businesses continue to struggle as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: 22% of small businesses say their business operations are still on the decline. Additionally, more than 1 in 4 small businesses reported they may not survive past three months without funding or market changes, and 10% of small businesses are temporarily closed. These numbers are holding steady compared to Small Business Majority’s April 2021 survey, when 25% of business owners reported their businesses were on the decline, and 11% were temporarily closed. 

“Even prior to the pandemic, most small business owners said that infrastructure investments were essential to the success of their businesses, and given the struggles caused by COVID-19, it’s not surprising that they continue to support policies that would create new business opportunities and stimulate the economy,” said Small Business Majority Founder & CEO John Arensmeyer. “The American Jobs Plan is designed to help businesses recover by increasing their federal contracting opportunities, encouraging innovation, and strengthening manufacturing supply chains while leveling the playing field through tax reforms. In order to support the growth of small businesses on their road to recovery, these investments will be critical to their success.”

This poll reflects a survey of 391 small businesses from Small Business Majority’s network from May 1 and 31, 2021. Most respondents own very small businesses with fewer than 10 employees (52%) or are self-employed (27%). Fifty-three percent are owned by people of color and nearly two-thirds (63%) are owned by women. For the full report, visit: https://smallbusinessmajority.org/our-research/infrastructure/small-businesses-support-tax-reforms-infrastructure-investments

About Small Business Majority

Small Business Majority is a national small business organization that empowers America's diverse entrepreneurs to build a thriving and equitable economy. We engage our network of more than 85,000 small businesses and 1,000 business and community organizations to advocate for public policy solutions and deliver resources to entrepreneurs that promote equitable small business growth. Our deep connections with the small business community along with our scientific research enable us to educate the public about key issues impacting America’s entrepreneurs, with a special focus on advancing the smallest businesses and those facing systemic inequalities. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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