Small tech CEOs say Romney better for the economy: survey
Regardless of who won the presidential debate, the majority of executives from small technology firms would feel better if Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wins next month’s general election.
Twice as many CEOs from small to medium-sized technology companies (57 percent) believe the U.S. economy would be better off under Romney, according to a poll conducted last month by Boston-based executive search firm Polachi.
Just 27 percent of executives polled thought President Barack Obama would do a better job guiding the economy.
“What they like about Romney is his background at Bain Capital, having created value for his investors and himself and his family,” said Charley Polachi, who co-founded the firm with his brother 10 years ago.
“These CEOs felt Romney has been in the business world, he’s been an investor and has been held accountable to his limited partners and investors and he can probably get the economy moving (faster than Obama).”
The poll garnered responses from 200 tech CEOs from companies ranging in size from $2 million to $500 million in annual revenues.
A separate flash poll of 314 small businesses immediately after the presidential debate, conducted by online consultancy firm Manta, found 78 percent of respondents felt Romney won the debate. Just 8 percent felt Obama was the winner. However, 85 percent said the debate would not change their vote.
While the majority of the executives in the Polachi report favored Romney’s business acumen, 45 percent said it’s ultimately up to Congress to get the economy back on track. Additionally, 36 percent believed regulations need to be changed to help launch and grow more tech startups.
“It didn’t matter to them if you elected a Republican or a Democrat, the real challenge we’ve got is that Congress is out of touch with reality,” said Polachi. “All the president can do is try, because if Congress doesn’t want to vote for it, they’re not going to vote for it.”
Small business advocate John Arensmeyer agreed Congress needs to work together more to help small firms grow, but in a statement said “any new pro-small business policies must help the majority of real, mom and pop businesses in America – not a small sliver of the business community.”
Arensmeyer, the founder and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based Small Business Majority (SBM), said just 3 percent of small businesses surveyed by his organization had annual household incomes above $250,000.
The so-called “fiscal cliff”, healthcare and energy are the main areas of concern for small businesses going forward, according to Arensmeyer, who hoped small businesses “stay front and center throughout the campaign” and that lawmakers “don’t use them as pawns in a larger political chess game.”
Image: Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama smile at the end of their first 2012 U.S. presidential debate in Denver October 3, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder