By Steve Jagler Special to Published Oct 03, 2008 at 10:31 AM
Steve Jagler is executive editor of BizTimes.

An overwhelming majority of American small-business owners believes that neither U.S. presidential candidate is proposing specific policies that would assist their companies, according to a new survey.

The new poll of 516 small-business owners across the United States, conducted by management consulting firm George S. May International, shows 71 percent of respondents saying they cannot name one way either U.S. presidential candidate will help their business.

However, 59.5 percent of respondents said they believed that Democratic nominee Barack Obama is the presidential candidate who would do the most for small-business owners, while 39.3 percent said they believed that Republican nominee John McCain would do the most for small businesses. (Another 0.4 percent responded that both candidates would do the most for small businesses and 0.8 percent said neither candidate.)

Sixty-six percent of respondents said they wish both candidates were more specific about their positions on issues.

American small-business owners in the survey ranked the following issues as the most important to them: the economy (23 percent); health care (20 percent); taxes (17 percent); the Iraq war (15 percent); energy (12 percent); housing (7 percent); and immigration (5 percent).

"The results of the survey show that no matter which presidential candidate is elected into office this November, he will need to specifically address the issues of most concern to small business owners who are the backbone of America and who want answers," said Israel Kushnir, president of George S. May International, an independent management consultant firm based in Park Ridge, Ill.

Do you want to know how each of the presidential candidates' economic plans would affect you and your company? Find out by reading a special report in the new edition of Small Business Times ( The report also includes interviews with Milwaukee-area business executives who support the candidates and an online slideshow of the candidates campaigning in Wisconsin.

Steve Jagler Special to

Steve Jagler is executive editor of BizTimes in Milwaukee and is past president of the Milwaukee Press Club. BizTimes provides news and operational insight for the owners and managers of privately held companies throughout southeastern Wisconsin.

Steve has won several journalism awards as a reporter, a columnist and an editor. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

When he is not pursuing the news, Steve enjoys spending time with his wife, Kristi, and their two sons, Justin and James. Steve can be reached at