A recent survey conducted by the Public Affairs Council has revealed the majority of participants polled have a positive view of small businesses. The survey also highlighted how Americans felt about large companies, and how they felt about large companies compared to small businesses.

Results of the “Public Affairs Pulse” survey which includes the opinions of 1,750 people revealed that:

  • Up to 88% of Americans polled reported a favorable, positive view of small businesses, compared to 67% of Americans who reported a favorable, positive view of major companies.
  • While 67% of Americans stated they felt favorably about major companies, 76 percent also stated that they felt too much power is concentrated in too few major companies. Additionally, 63% of people surveyed felt that major companies were raking in too much profit.
  • Although 53% of the participants stated they had a very favorable opinion of small businesses, only 16% reported a very favorable opinion of major companies.

When it came to comparing small businesses with major companies, 68% of respondents agreed with the statement that they would prefer to do business with a smaller local company – even though the smaller local company may charge somewhat higher prices than major companies. Only 29 percent of the participants agreed with the statement that they would rather do business with a large national company offering somewhat lower prices.

Almost half of the respondents when asked whether small business, major companies, the government or labor unions would be most important to the economic well-being of middle-class Americans chose small business.

The end results of the survey show that the majority of Americans not only view small businesses positively but that they are willing to pay extra to support local businesses. And although many Americans still view major companies somewhat favorably, they question the amount of power and profits major companies have acquired. Plus, less than a third of those surveyed would take their business to a large company in order to save on lower prices.

The survey underscored in its results the conclusion that Americans continue to support small businesses, and retain a positive view of small businesses, due to the belief that a healthy middle class leads to a healthy Main Street economy.


Public Affairs Council. “Public Affairs Pulse. What Americans Think About Business.” (07/2012). http://pac.org/pulse/

Nate C. Hindman. “Small Business Key to Middle-Class Welfare, Nearly Half of Americans Say.” Huffington Post. (07/31/2012). http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/31/small-business-middle-class_n_1725691.html

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