Poll: Majority of Small Business Owners Perceive Online Marketplaces Like Amazon as a Threat

BizBuySell
August 30, 2017

New BizBuySell survey reveals small business concern over the "Amazon Effect", cybersecurity and the current tax code.

San Francisco, CA - BizBuySell.com, the Internet's largest business-for-sale marketplace, surveyed 762 small business owners to get their perspective on how various economic, political and technological threats are impacting the small business environment. The survey examined how small business owners feel about a variety of issues, including cybersecurity, tax reform, the Amazon effect and the Trump administration. In the survey, as outlined below, BizBuySell found small businesses owners continue to support the majority of the Trump administration's decisions thus far but also have many non-political concerns on their mind as they finish out the year and plan for 2018.


Topic: Cybersecurity

How important is it for small businesses to protect themselves from cybersecurity threats?

  • Extremely important - 60%
  • Important - 30%
  • Moderately important - 7%
  • Somewhat important - 3%
  • Not important - 1%

Have you owned a business that suffered a cyber-attack?

  • Yes - 10%
  • No - 90%

Of those who have suffered a cyber-attack, the most common types were:

  • General malware - 42%
  • Web-based attacks - 40%
  • Phishing scheme/social engineering - 39%
  • Ransomware - 21%
  • Malicious insider - 13%
  • Compromised or stolen devices - 10%
  • Denial of services - 10%
  • SQL injection - 7%
  • Other - 18%

Small business owners have taken the following steps to protect their business from cybersecurity threats:

  • Anti-virus software - 79%
  • Secure your Wi-Fi network - 64%
  • Internet firewall security - 64%
  • Backup important business data and information - 61%
  • Require passwords and multi-factor authentication - 44%
  • Control physical access to your computers and create user accounts for each employee - 43%
  • Train employees on security policies - 37%
  • Added IT staff - 6%
  • Bought cybersecurity insurance - 5%
  • None - 9%
  • Other - 5%

Owners are most concerned about protecting the following types of information from a cyberattacks:

  • Customer credit and debit card information - 34%
  • Customer records - 23%
  • Company financial information - 18%
  • Intellectual property - 6%
  • Employee records - 5%
  • Business correspondence - 4%
  • None - 5%
  • Other - 3%

Topic: Tax Reform

Do you believe Tax Reform is necessary for small business growth?

  • Yes - 86%
  • No - 14%

(If yes to above) Which of the following will have the most positive impact on small businesses?

  • Tax rate cuts - 37%
  • A simplification of the tax code; it's currently too complex - 24%
  • Modernization of the tax code - 13%
  • Reduce unfair preferential tax treatment to larger corporations - 12%
  • Reduce the amount of required information small business must send to the IRS - 7%
  • Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) - 3%
  • Repeal the Permanent Estate Tax’s application to small business owners - 3%
  • Other - 2%

Do you believe today's tax code creates an equal playing field between small and large businesses?

  • Yes – 17%
  • No –83%

(If No to above) What do you think is the best strategy for equalizing the playing field between small and large businesses?

  • Eliminate corporate loopholes while lowering business tax rates - 32%
  • Crack down on the ability of large corporations to reduce their tax burden by moving their profits offshore or moving their headquarters outside the country - 38%
  • Simplify the tax process which often requires the help of a certified public accountant (CPA) - 25%
  • Other - 4%

Topic: The Amazon Effect

Do you perceive online marketplaces such as Amazon as a threat to small business?

  • Yes - 65%
  • No - 35%

Has your business sold products using online marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy or eBay?

  • Yes - 21%
  • No - 52%
  • Not applicable - 26%

Do you sell your products or services on your own website?

  • Yes - 35%
  • No - 45%
  • Not applicable - 21%

Does your business price match online competitors?

  • Yes - 24%
  • No - 36%
  • Not applicable - 39%

Topic: General

Which of these national issues do you perceive as the biggest barrier to small business growth?

  • Economic uncertainty - 34%
  • Regulations - 31%
  • Taxes - 29%
  • Other - 6%

The Department of Labor is reviewing a possible expansion of the federal mandatory overtime rights. Current rules require employees who are paid less than $23,660 annually to be paid overtime when they work more than a 40-hours a work week. Do you support an increase in the minimum salary threshold?

  • Yes - 52%
  • No - 32%
  • No opinion - 16%

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as President?

  • Approve - 39%
  • Disapprove - 40%
  • No opinion - 21%

This marks a decline from our February survey which found 47% of owners approve of Trump, while just 30% disapproved and 23% had no opinion.


President Trump continues to push the economic goal of "buy American." Do you support adding a "Made In America” provision into potential trade deal renegotiations?

  • Yes - 76%
  • No - 24%

Media Contact:

Bobby Chilver
Walker Sands Communications
office: (312) 546-4712
email: robert.chilver@walkersands.com

About BizBuySell

BizBuySell is the Internet's largest business for sale marketplace. Since 1996, BizBuySell has offered tools that make it easy for business owners and brokers to sell a business, and potential buyers to find the business of their dreams. BizBuySell currently has an inventory of approximately businesses - spanning 80 countries - for sale at any one time and receives more than monthly visits. The site also features an extensive franchise directory as well as an easy-to-use business valuation tool. Please visit www.bizbuysell.com for more information.

BizBuySell was founded in 1996 and in 2012 became a division of CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ - CSGP) - commercial real estate's leading provider of information and analytic services. CoStar conducts expansive, ongoing research to produce and maintain the largest and most comprehensive database of commercial real estate information and offers a suite of online services enabling clients to analyze, interpret and gain unmatched insight on commercial property values, market conditions and current availabilities. For more information, visit www.costar.com.


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