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SURVEY: VAST MAJORITY OF U.S. SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS ARE BOTH BULLISH ON 2016 OUTLOOK AND CRITICAL OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESS

A majority (77 percent) of small businesses owners have a ‘positive’ or ‘very positive’ business outlook for 2016, according to the 2016 State of the Union Survey released by Endurance International Group (NASDAQ: EIGI). Nearly half (48 percent) of small business owners said their business fared better in 2015 than in 2014 and a majority (72 percent) feel 2016 will be positive in comparison to 2015.

The results of the survey, released on the eve of President Obama’s seventh State of the Union address, reveal that 79 percent of U.S. small businesses feel that Congress has not been effective in addressing issues important to small businesses – down from 87 percent last year. A majority (57 percent) of small business owners do not believe either party is effective on small business issues, with 76 percent believing that Congress should play a larger role in helping small business growth.

The survey also reveals that over half (57 percent) of small business owners plan to make financial investments this year, whether it is in product development, buying additional materials, or investing in real estate. Of those that are making financial investments, 47 percent would characterize the investments as ‘significant.’ And, surprisingly, 42 percent of small businesses plan to hire over the next year, a significant increase given that 93 percent of the small businesses surveyed currently have fewer than 6 employees, and 47 percent are sole proprietors.

When asked to rank key issues important to small businesses, survey respondents ranked Taxes and the Ability to Obtain Bank Financing as their top two concerns, respectively. As for issues that are most important for President Obama to address in his State of the Union address, respondents named The Economy, Education and National Defense as their top three concerns, ranking higher than Immigration and Race Relations.

“While small business owners are upbeat about their own business prospects, it is clear that they believe Washington could do more to help stimulate small business growth,” said Endurance CEO and Founder, Hari Ravichandran. “Concerns about taxes and the ability to obtain bank financing remain front and center. Congress must prioritize small business issues in order to create long-term economic growth.” 

As for the current field of Presidential candidates, when asked about their thoughts on who would be the most effective leader on issues important to small business, small business owners selected Donald Trump the highest-ranking Republican candidate at 30 percent and Hillary Clinton the highest-ranking Democrat at 44 percent.

Endurance’s 2016 State of the Union Survey provides insights and perspectives on small business owners’ economic outlook, political sentiment, and the current field of Presidential candidates. The survey was conducted from December 16, 2015 to January 4, 2016 and surveyed 1,135 U.S. small business owners, all of whom use Endurance’s web presence solutions. For purposes of this survey, small businesses are defined as employing 10 or less people on either a full-time or part-time basis.

Endurance International Group is a leading technology provider of cloud-based platform solutions to help small and medium-sized businesses succeed online. Endurance, through its family of brands, supports more than 4.5 million subscribers globally.

Full survey results can be found below and online here.

 

Survey Results

Question: How did your business fare during 2015?

  • Same as 2014: 40%
  • Better than 2014: 48%
  • Worse than 2014: 13%

Question: What is your general business outlook for 2016?

  • Very Positive: 28%
  • Positive: 49%
  • Neutral: 21%
  • Negative: 2%
  • Very Negative: 1%

Question: What is your general business outlook for 2016 in comparison to 2015?

  • Same outlook: 24%
  • Negative compared to 2015: 4%
  • Positive compared to 2015: 72%

Question: Do you plan to hire employees in 2016?

  • No: 58%
  • Yes: 42%

Question: Do you plan to make any financial investments, such as investments in developing new products, buying materials or real estate, in your business in 2016?

  • No: 43%
  • Yes: 57%

Question: If you plan to make any financial investments in 2016, how would you characterize them?

  • Significant: 47%
  • Minor: 41%
  • Same as last year: 12%

Question: Do you feel that the Congress is effective in addressing issues important to small businesses?

  • No: 79%
  • Yes: 21%

Question: Do you think Congress should play a larger role in helping small business growth in the United States?

  • No: 24%
  • Yes: 76%

Question: Do you feel that President Obama has been an effective leader on issues important to small business?

  • No: 39%
  • Yes: 28%
  • Don’t know: 33%

Question: Which political party do you feel best represents and advocates for small businesses in America?

  • Democratic Party: 25%
  • Republican Party: 18%
  • Neither Party: 57%

Question: Please rank, in order of importance, what issues you feel are most important to small business.

  1. Taxes
  2. Ability to obtain bank financing
  3. Healthcare coverage
  4. Ability to hired skilled workers

Question: Please rank, in order of importance, what issues you feel are most important for the President to address in his State of the Union address.

  1. The economy
  2. Education
  3. National defense
  4. Immigration
  5. Race relations

Question: Will you watch the President’s State of the Union address?

  • No: 44%
  • Yes: 56%

Question: Which Republican Presidential candidate do you think would be the most effective leader on issues important to small business?

  • Jeb Bush: 11%
  • Ben Carson: 10%
  • Chris Christie: 5%
  • Ted Cruz: 9%
  • Carly Fiorina: 7%
  • Jim Gilmore: 1%
  • Lindsey Graham: 3%
  • Mike Huckabee: 3%
  • John Kasich: 5%
  • George Pataki: 2%
  • Rand Paul: 7%
  • Marco Rubio: 7%
  • Rick Santorum: 2%
  • Donald Trump: 30%

Question: Which Democratic Presidential candidate do you think would be the most effective leader on issues important to small business?

  • Hillary Clinton: 44%
  • Martin O’Malley: 20%
  • Bernie Sanders: 37%

*Due to rounding, numbers may not add up to 100%.

About Endurance International Group

Endurance International Group is a publicly traded (NASDAQ: EIGI) technology company that helps power small and medium-sized businesses online. Through its proprietary cloud platform, Endurance provides web presence solutions including web hosting, eCommerce, eMarketing and mobile business tools to approximately 4.5 million subscribers around the globe. The company’s world-class family of brands includes Bluehost, HostGator, iPage, Domain.com, A Small Orange, MOJO Marketplace, BigRock and ResellerClub, among others. Headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, Endurance employs more than 2,700 people across the United States in Utah, Texas, Washington and Arizona and in the United Kingdom, India, Israel and Brazil. For more information on how Endurance can help grow your business, visit endurance.com, follow us on Twitter @EnduranceIntl and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EnduranceInternational.

Endurance International Group and the compass logo are trademarks of The Endurance International Group, Inc. Other brand names of Endurance International Group are trademarks of The Endurance International Group, Inc. or its subsidiaries.

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