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New data released by George Washington University and indicates Utah small-business owners overwhelmingly rank the economy and jobs as the most important factor in choosing a president.

The second-most important issue was ethics, honesty and corruption in government.

"Small businesses are deeply attuned to the effect of politics on job creation and the economy," said David Rehr, lead researcher on the study at George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management. "Entrepreneurs are feeling squeezed by the tight lending environment, and they want their elected leaders to curb the influence of money in politics."

Among the key findings for Utah (which can be viewed at

• Small-business owners rate gas and fuel costs as the single-most burdensome cost to their businesses — more even than self-employment taxes or health care costs.

• 79 percent of Utah small-business owners said that health care costs are important to the success of their business

• Taxes did not appear to be a decisive factor for small businesses in this election, with only 3 percent of owners rating it as the most important issue.

"After a monthlong survey of over 6,000 small-business owners nationwide, we have heard an unusually nuanced story about what really concerns them," Sander Daniels, co-founder of said in a statement. "These entrepreneurs are an important barometer of our nation's economic health and political sentiment. When job creators speak, we need to listen as closely as possible." is a website that provides referrals to homeowners and others who need to hire professional service providers, from carpenters to wedding photographers to personal trainers. —

Survey results

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