Study: Local Chapters Trusted Over US Chamber of Commerce

Study: Local Chapters Trusted Over US Chamber of Commerce a graphic illustration of a red paper pulled back to reveal the words chamber of commerce (Bang Oland/Dreamstime)

By Luca Cacciatore | Saturday, 04 December 2021 11:58 AM

A new report on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's most prominent business advocacy group, found business owners feel more supported by local chapters than the national organization.

Using Federal Election Commission (FEC) data and surveying over 530 entrepreneurs, Skynova found the national Chamber of Commerce, with 35% approval, was ranked behind the U.S. Small Business Association 43%, local chamber of commerce groups 41%, and the National Business Association 36%.

According to the report, entrepreneurs overwhelmingly favored their interests being represented at the local level 51%, than at the federal level 35%.

The survey also showed, of the $1,151,859 spent in donations by the national Chamber from 2018-2020, $868,652 (75%) went to Republican-affiliated organizations, and only $283,207 (25%) went to Democrat-affiliated groups.

Donations from the national Chamber of Commerce decidedly favored Democrats in only five states: Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

The most competitive states for donations from the national Chamber among political affiliation were California, Utah, Virginia, and New Jersey.

Among political affiliations of entrepreneurs, opinions were split over whether the federal government should provide financial aid to small businesses.

"When it comes to who should be supporting small businesses, opinions vary in interesting ways," the report states. "For example, 44% of Democratic entrepreneurs believed the federal government should provide financial aid to small businesses, compared to only 26% of Republican entrepreneurs."

Around 20% of Republican entrepreneurs said they did not know if interest groups or the government were better at representing business interests, possibly indicating indifference among the group on the matter.

As expected, Democrat entrepreneurs had more faith in the current Biden administration than Republican business owners. However, shockingly, independents had more apathetic feelings toward the administration's performance than Republican entrepreneurs polled.

Among the percentage of entrepreneurs confident in the current leadership's handling of the pandemic, the economy, job creation, healthcare, and environmental issues, independents disapproved of the administration's performance by 3-13% less than Republicans depending on the issue.

Only 30% of minor to midsize business owners reported that they believe adjusting government regulations will positively affect their business.