Millions of small business owners nationwide are always looking for ways to reduce the costs of running their companies, and that often includes the amount they spend to literally keep the lights on. As such, many are now in support of less expensive, more efficient energy initiatives.
Clean, affordable energy has been a major talking point in political circles for some time now, and that focus is now beginning to filter down to small business owners, who see the potential these new moves could present for their companies, according to a new survey from the American Sustainable Business Council. For instance, nearly four out of five small business owners think that it would be a good idea to support increases in energy efficiency by some 50 percent over the next decade, while about the same number also think it would be a good idea to require disclosure of the chemicals used in fracking processes by natural gas companies.
"Large majorities of small business owners want the country to develop energy that is clean and renewable," said Richard Eidlin, Director of Public Policy for ASBC. "Whether Republican, Democratic or Independent, they want the government to promote energy efficiency and clean technologies and they don't want our tax dollars to continue subsidizing coal, oil and gas."
In addition, slightly less than three-quarters of owners say that they think it is important for the government to make incentives related to adopting clean energy a priority, the report said. Further, more than three in five say that EPA efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants are well-founded, and the same proportions say they believe there should be a national standard for renewable energy, as well as believing that subsidies for oil, gas and coal companies should be reduced or even eliminated. Finally, 57 percent of those polled said that they think bankers and other investors should take include environmental benefits companies might be able to provide into consideration when making lending decisions.
A particular focus on fossil fuels
One type of energy that has likely grown into a significant expense in recent years is fossil fuels, and as such, many businesses now specifically support reducing reliance on these as a means of becoming more environmentally friendly and also cost-conscious, the report said. Susan Labandibar, the president of Boston-based company TechNeworks, says that concerns about the use of these fuels and their effect on global climate change are growing, and putting government standards for their use into place may specifically help small businesses to avoid potentially catastrophic weather issues in the future. In general, most owners seem to agree that these measures will not only help to protect small businesses, but also improve national economic stability going forward.
Of course, the ability to avoid disastrous weather events and keep costs related to fossil fuels down going forward can both be important to small businesses for different reasons. The former will typically require massive small business insurance payouts to cover, meaning that policies will have to be as up-to-date as possible in case of a catastrophe. In addition, reduced costs will likely allow small businesses to focus on other efforts, including expansion, but that too comes with a potential for increased insurance needs, as bringing on more workers or increasing the physical size of a company may carry more general liability insurance or workers' compensation premiums costs. Finding ways to reduce these, such as by obtaining the most affordable coverage available, may help to keep companies' bottom lines as streamlined as possible.