2016 Presidential Candidates on Small Business Issues

republican elephant vs. democrat donkey 2016 presidential candidates on small business issues

With primary season in full swing, presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle are positioning to win over the massive voter bloc comprised of small business owners and the people who work for them. Here’s a quick round up of policies from the 2016 presidential candidates on small business issues.

2016 Presidential Candidates on Small Business Issues


Hillary Clinton

Clinton has been very vocal about her stance on labor issues, advocating for greater protections for immigrants, women, minorities, and gig workers in the economy. She backs both the Affordable Healthcare Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act. Clinton has also called for greater access to financing for women and minority-owned businesses, less red tape for business owners across the board, and a plan to create tax breaks for small businesses who institute a profit-sharing plan.

Bernie Sanders

Sanders has long positioned himself as an advocate for small business owners. He helped pass the Small Business Jobs Act, which supports low-interest loans to small business owners and tax relief packages. While he does advocate for raising the minimum wage to $15/hr—which would increase payroll-related costs for small businesses—his Six Point Plan to Rein in Wall Street calls for the provision of low interest rates to small business owners. These rates would be in-line with interest rates provided to foreign banks in order to grow more investment in smaller businesses.


Donald Trump

For all the controversy Trump brings to the election, many small business owners have shown an affinity for his plans calling for lower tax rates on individuals and corporations. By advocating an across the board low tax rate for small and big businesses alike, Trump claims his plan will eliminate the precedent for large companies to locate their tax havens abroadbringing more revenue back home and stimulating the economy. He would also eliminate the death tax and repeal the income tax on low-earning households.

Marco Rubio

Rubio’s plan calls for lower taxes for business owners, the repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act, policies that lower energy costs, and the establishment of a National Regulatory Budget that would decrease governmental involvement in the day-to-day affairs of small business owners. Like many of the other Republican candidates, he believes that lower taxes and less government regulation is good for business owners and the economy.

Ted Cruz

Like his Republican peers, Cruz also calls for a lower, flat tax for business owners across the board, as well as reduction in the governmental regulations he claims create too much red tape for small business owners. He would also do away with the payroll tax, death tax, and taxes related to the Affordable Healthcare Act, and incentivize larger corporations with tax havens in other countries to come back to the U.S. with a low one-time repatriation penalty.  

*As of Feb. 3, 2016, the campaigns of some Democratic and Republican candidates have been suspended, and this article does not include the small business positions of every candidate in the field.

For additional information regarding 2016 presidential candidates on small business issues, check out this extensive article from Inc. Magazine.

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