Taxes are the No. 1 concern of small-business owners, according to the first CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey, released on Friday.
A quarter of small-business owners said that taxes are the most critical issue currently facing their businesses. That was followed by regulation, customer demand and cost of employee health care (each cited by 14 percent of respondents). The online poll was conducted April 17–28, 2017, among a national sample of 2,030 self-identified small-business owners ages 18 and up.
Among the respondents, 42 percent believe changes in tax policy will have a positive effect on their business, and 33 percent think it will have no effect. Just 24 percent believe it will have a negative effect.
So why are taxes such a big priority for entrepreneurs? "Taxes have a direct impact on the bottom line and growth and the ability to compete globally," says attorney Andrew Sherman, a partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP who has advised many small-business clients. Some owners would like to invest more in the training and education they need to hold on to their talent in a tight job market but don't have enough left over after taxes, he adds.