Small Business Scorecard®

Small Business Owners Express Biggest Concerns Heading Into Election

Health Care Costs, Taxes, Government Spending Top the List

GLENVIEW, IL–(Marketwired – October 23, 2014) – Heading into November’s mid-term elections, small business owners with primarily 1-10 employees discussed the concerns they would most like Congress to address. Their confidence appears to be dipping as they await to see how certain issues are handled.

Small business owners said in the survey that the three issues topping their list of concerns are:

  • health care costs
  • tax credits and
  • government spending

Three in five are concerned about reducing health care costs; half are concerned about tax credits and a third are concerned about government spending.

These are results according to October’s SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard® optimism survey. SurePayroll Inc., a leader in providing online payroll to small businesses nationwide since 2000, releases its Scorecard monthly, giving an exclusive perspective on hiring and wage data from microbusinesses, a key driver of the economy.

“Last year at this time, one of the biggest concerns was finding a solution to the debt ceiling issue. We’re past that, but small business owners see the costs related to health care and taxes on a daily basis, so those remain a top concern,” said SurePayroll General Manager Andy Roe. “If government spending in other areas were reduced, I think they would see opportunity for more robust tax credits aimed at small businesses for things like hiring and providing health care.”

While businesses with less than 50 employees are not subject to requirements from the Affordable Care Act, small business owner and survey respondent Robert Willis of Henderson, Nevada commented, “The marketplace for insurance has very sparse offerings with large deductibles.”

Small business owners’ level of optimism about the economy dropped in October to 62 percent, from 73 percent last month. Optimism, however is flat from a year ago.

“We’re seeing some trepidation from small business owners, not knowing who their next congressman or governor will be after this election,” said Roe. “However the results shake out, we hope they feel more supported and that government is helping them grow.”

Mixing Business & Pleasure?

Last year at this time, one of the biggest concerns was finding a solution to the debt ceiling issue. We're past that, but small business owners see the costs related to health care and taxes on a daily basis, so those remain a top concern

In regard to how they’re feeling about local government going into the election, just 51 percent said their state is supportive of their small business. The survey also found that 64 percent of small business owners weigh their personal beliefs more heavily when voting than concerns for their businesses.
Meanwhile, hiring was down 0.1 percent in October and the average paycheck was down 0.2 percent, according to Scorecard data. The percentage of 1099s was at 6.59, down just 0.01 percent from September.

On a regional level in October, hiring was up 0.1 percent month over month in the South. In the Midwest and Northeast, hiring was down 0.3 percent, staying flat in the West. The average paycheck was flat in the Midwest; down 0.2 percent in the Northeast and South; and down 0.5 percent in the West.

As the first economic indicator created by a payroll company, the SurePayroll Scorecard has provided a monthly look at national hiring and paycheck trends since October 2004. SurePayroll’s Scorecard compiles data from small businesses nationwide, and exclusively reflects the trends affecting the nation’s “micro businesses” — those with1-10 employees. The average business reflected has six employees.

The full SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard — Main Street Matters infographic includes data for SurePayroll’s top MSAs.
About SurePayroll
SurePayroll is the trusted provider of easy online payroll services to small businesses nationwide. Whether a business has 1, 10, or 100 employees, SurePayroll delivers peace of mind by combining innovative, industry-leading technology and personalized support from an award-winning, U.S.-based customer care team. SurePayroll also provides private-label and co-branded services for accountants and banking partners as well as offering efficient online solutions for managing 401(k) plans, health insurance, workers’ compensation, employee screening and more. SurePayroll is a wholly owned subsidiary of Paychex. For more information, please visit