Small business owners seek end to unfair competition

Published February 1, 2012

By Lynn Ducey, Reporter | Phoenix Business Journal

A nationwide survey of 500 small businesses reveal that more regulations are needed to protect small businesses from what they perceive to be unfair competition from large companies.

The survey by the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority was conducted between Dec. 8, 2011 and Jan. 4, 2012 by Lake Research Partners on behalf of the groups.

The survey showed that 34 percent said weak customer demand was the most important problem for their business, while only 14 percent named government regulations.

Frank Knapp Jr., vice chair of the American Sustainable Business Council and president and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, said owners want a level playing field through regulation.

“Regulations are the rules of the game we call private sector competition. An overwhelming percent of small business owners agree that without fair regulations creating a level playing field, small businesses won’t be able to compete against big businesses. From our perspective, the effort to kill regulations is big businesses’ way of rigging the game in their favor,” Knapp said in a statement.

Here are other findings:

78 percent say some standards are important to protect small businesses from unfair competition

76 percent say regulations on the books should be enforced

93 percent of owners say their business can live with some regulation if it is fair, manageable and reasonable

78 percent support rules to prevent health insurance companies from increasing rates excessively

84 percent support food safety standards

80 percent support product safety standards

80 percent support disclosure and regulation of toxic materials.

Small businesses believe in streamlining government processes: 73 percent say that there should be a single avenue for electronic filing of all government required paperwork.


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