Sunday, February 22, 2009

Small Business Heroes

I wasn't exactly shocked by the results of the latest Rasmussen Report, which shows that corporate CEOs are the least-popular professionals in America these days. *

But I was pleasantly surprised to see that the heroes of the country are small business owners and entrepreneurs. The survey reports that small business owners are regarded favorably by 92% of survey respondents, while "those who start their own businesses" (i.e., entrepreneurs) get thumbs-up from 88%.

Heck, even "pastors and other local religious leaders" commanded less-favorable ratings; only 72% regard them favorably, according to the survey.

I'm glad that small business owners are still respected and admired, even as high-powered (and paid) execs running larger corporations are sinking in public opinion. It's small business owners who employ the vast majority of America's workforce, after all, and they're typically the individuals who work hardest, sacrifice the most and take the biggest personal risks when following their business dreams.

And when those risks don't pay off? Guess what: Small business owners don't get millions in bonuses. In fact, they take their lumps. Many lose their homes and their life savings when their companies go under.

Given the steep challenges of entrepreneurship, I'm always amazed how many Americans give it a go. But I'm sure glad that they do.

*On a personal note, I'm not thrilled that "journalists and reporters" only get a favorable rating from 38% of survey respondents. When I was in journalism school in the post-Watergate era, journalism was highly valued. Now, we're less popular even than lawyers (41% favorability) and bankers (44%).


  1. Entrepreneurs and their capacity for risk are amazing! Kinda like free lance journalists, if you ask me. If journalists aren't getting respect, it's because we take their ubiquity for granted. We just need a few reminders of what's happening to incisive journalists around the world.

    I am skeptical about the banker's approval. How long ago was that survey?

  2. The telephone survey was conducted Feb. 15-16, Desiree. I would imagine the anti-big business attitudes reflect the anger many feel about the shenanigans with Wall Street bonuses, as well as the short-sighted decisions that got us into this mess.

    I know I'm mad about it!