By Rhonda Abrams • Gannett • April 28, 2010
Be proud, small-business owners! You’re now the most trusted group in America. Listen up, federal government! You’re neglecting small business – and most people think so.
According to the just-released study by the highly respected Pew Research Center, small business is the most trusted institution in America. More than churches. More than colleges. More than technology companies. And certainly more than labor unions or large corporations.
Republicans trust us. Democrats trust us. Independents trust us. Small business isn’t a partisan issue.
But we’re neglected. When asked about which groups were getting too much or too little attention from the government, Americans felt small business was getting dealt the worst hand. Hey, elected officials, listen up! Small business is one of the few groups Americans want to get more government attention.
The Pew Center’s study got enormous media attention – but not about small business. The media coverage focused on how little Americans trust their government. But buried in the report was the fact that there is an institution almost all Americans still trust: small business.
So I picked up the phone and called the Pew Center. I wanted to learn more.
The results were “striking,” according to Carroll Dougherty, Pew’s Associate Director. “At a time when a lot of institutions are viewed negatively, small business is viewed very positively. What’s really interesting is that large corporations are viewed almost as negatively as Wall Street. The contrast between large corporations and small business is enormous.”
“So much of this survey is partisan,” Dougherty continued. “In this case, it’s bipartisan. It crosses party lines.” 72 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of independents say small businesses have a positive effect on the way things are going in the country.
Let’s look at the numbers of how some groups are viewed as to whether they have a positive or negative effect on this country, in percentages:
|Churches & religious orgs||63||22|
|Colleges & universities||61||26|
|Banks & financial institutions||22||69|
More next time …