02/29/2012 12:27 pm ET

Some Red Tape Helps Small Business: Survey Says

What is hindering small-business owners' growth? While some politicians would have you believe it's “too much” government regulation, a recent poll by the Main Street Alliance, Small Business Majority and the American Sustainable Business Council reports that's not the case. On the contrary, 78 percent of small-business owners in the study think regulation is important to help level the playing field with big business, and 76 percent believe existing regulations should be enforced.

If not regulation, then what is holding small-business owners back? Respondents say their biggest concern is weak customer demand (cited by 34 percent). In contrast, only 14 percent think regulation is a problem. If eliminating regulation wouldn't create jobs, what would? Small-business owners said "eliminating incentives to move jobs overseas" is the most useful thing government could do to help stimulate job growth.

Why it matters to your business: Small-business owners aren't giving government carte blanche: Ninety-three percent of entrepreneurs say they support "reasonable" regulation. Not all regulations are reasonable, of course, so if you feel that excessive red tape is hurting your business, speak up to your local, state and industry representatives.