Study: Limiting Lawsuits; Small Businesses' Least Concern

Monday, March 6, 2017
Ssmall business surveys always put “lawsuits” or “liability” at the bottom of their list of concerns, if they're mentioned at all.


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HIGHLIGHTS

National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)

NFIB members were asked to rate the importance of 75 issues on their operations.  “Cost and Frequency of Lawsuits/Threatened Lawsuits” ranked 68th.  It was listed among the problems of least concernto small business members.  It was of less concern to small businesses than “Access to High-Speed Internet” (#66).  This was true regardless of business sector, the number of years of business ownership, or the location (state).  And the issue ranked last in importance among 20 possible “cost” problems for small businesses.

National Small Business Association (NSBA)

When NSBA asked members, “What are the three most significant challenges to the future growth and survival of your business?” lawsuits was not among the 16 options listed.  In addition, when asked, “Which one of the following issues do you believe Congress and President Trump’s administration should address first?” only 1 percent of respondents selected “tort reform” from the list.

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)

Small businesses (i.e., “those with fewer than 50 employees”) and medium-sized businesses (i.e., “those with between 50 and 499 employees”) comprise about 70 percent of responses to NAM surveys. Respondents were asked to check their primary business challenges from a list of options.  Lawsuits was not on the list.  Respondents were also “given the opportunity to submit other challenges affecting their business aside from the choices given in the survey question.”  Lawsuits were not mentioned among the 13 sample comments included in the report.

Various bank surveys

M&T Bank, Bank of America and Wells Fargo all surveyed small business owners about their top concerns, or about what today’s lawmakers could do to help small busiensses grow.  Lawsuits were not mentioned as issues of concern in any of these surveys.

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