Careers

Main Street reacts to President-elect Trump

A man hands a newspaper to a customer at a news stand in New York, U.S., November 9, 2016.
Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

After months of uncertainty, Main Street finally has some answers in the form of President-elect Donald Trump.

The Republican businessman and Washington outsider took the nation by storm with a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton.

Small businesses may have played a bigger role in electing Trump than many expected. Polls showed the New York tycoon consistently leading Clinton over the past six months. Most recently, data from the Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and Management found respondents overwhelmingly sided with Trump on fiscal issues, including the economy and regulation, while saying they best trusted his opponent to handle social issues including the gender pay gap.

The hope among advocacy groups is that the nation will move forward and lawmakers will work together to mend a fractured government. Small businesses had been feeling the pressure in this election in particular, with uncertainty hitting a 42-year-high in the latest polling from the conservative lobbying group the National Federation of Independent Business. That sentiment was echoed in data from Pepperdine, in which 38 percent of small companies said they were "very concerned" about the impact the next president might have on their business.

"After a very difficult election season, I urge policymakers to reach across the aisle to work on the important issues facing our nation: reducing the deficit and our long-term debt; reforming our overly complex tax code; reining-in the costs of health care; strengthening our international trade agreements; and streamlining burdensome regulations," National Small Business Association President and CEO Todd McCracken said by email.

During the campaign, advocacy groups, both partisan and nonpartisan, criticized the lack of detail from both candidates in their plans to help spur Main Street growth. Now, small businesses need answers on issues including the federal minimum wage, which Trump has spoken about raising to $10 an hour, and the Affordable Care Act, which he has vowed to repeal.

"Economic and political uncertainty is a huge concern for small businesses, and the top priority for lawmakers today and in the coming months must be to ensure political stability and promote economic growth. NSBA is committed to working with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in moving the country forward," McCracken said.

That sentiment is echoed by the National Federation of Independent Business, which congratulated Trump on his win.

"We look forward to working with him on policies to strengthen small business, which represents 99.7 percent of all U.S. employers and which provides jobs for 58 million Americans," NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan said in a statement.