Poll Results of California Small-Business Owners Released

Date: March 23, 2021

Main Street employers demand swift reopening, tax reform, lawsuit protections, data shows

SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 23, 2021—California’s largest and leading small-business association today released the results of its latest poll of its small-business-owning membership.

Unique among business groups, for 78 years, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has centered its federal and state lobbying agenda on what its small-business-owning members tell it, through annual balloting, are their biggest issues of concern.

“Our poll results underscore what our members and other small-business owners have been saying clearly, repeatedly, and emphatically,” said John Kabateck, NFIB’s California state director. “They want to stay open or re-open; they don’t want to be hit by an unfair and unprovable COVID lawsuit; they don’t want to be saddled with a tax increase on their unemployment insurance, especially since the state was awash in funds prior to the largesse it will now receive from the American Rescue Plan Act; and they want the state to align its tax code with the federal government’s on PPP loan forgiveness, because nothing – not a grant, not a loan – speeds money faster to them than being able to keep what they’ve already set aside.”

Should businesses be protected from frivolous and unmerited COVID-related lawsuits?
Yes, 98%
No, 1%
Und., 1%

  • When Congress failed to pass the Safe to Work Act last year, the majority of states scrambled to hold their small businesses out of harm’s way from unfair COVID lawsuits. Thirty states now have some form of liability protection, but California has barely just begun. NFIB is a co-sponsor of Assembly Bill 247, which would get things moving.

Should California businesses be allowed to remain open if they meet all government-issued safety and health protocols during a public health emergency?
Yes, 97%
No, 1%
Und., 2%

  • Although there is no specific bill addressing this, a package of bills outlined in a letter sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom by NFIB and 74 other business groups nips around the edges.

Should policymakers delay unemployment trust fund tax increases and adjust the fund’s solvency targets as a result of 2020 unemployment associated with the coronavirus pandemic?
Yes, 79%
No, 6%
Und., 15%

  • NFIB is lobbying the Newsom administration to spend part of its $43 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act to wipe out entirely the $20 billion – and counting — debt the state has with the federal government over its Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, or at least markedly reduce it. Not hitting small-business owners with a UI tax increase would be one more incentive for a small business to stay open, re-open, or add an employee.

Should the California tax code be amended to allow some small business owners the opportunity to recover the full benefits of the state and local (SALT) deduction?
Yes, 76%
No, 5%
Und., 19%

  • The governor and the Legislature (Senate Bill 104) have recognized the need to address SALT as have numerous other states across the country.

Contact: John Kabateck, California State Director, [email protected]
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager, [email protected]

Keep up with the latest on California small-business news at www.nfib.com/california, where this release can also be read, or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_CA or on Facebook @NFIB.CA.


For 78 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven association. Since its founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.

1130 K St. Suite 150
Sacramento, CA 95814
Twitter: @NFIB_CA
Facebook: @NFIB.CA


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