newspaper rollAccording to the latest survey from Lucas Group, a national recruitment firm specializing in search and placement services for strategic business functions, the three top hot-button topics for SMB leaders leading up to this fall’s midterm election include immigration reform, health care and minimum wage. The report, SMB Job Generation Outlook, gathers opinions on the nation’s most hotly debated political issues.

The latest quarterly report reveals that two-thirds of SMB leaders are pessimistic about hopes for bipartisanship in Washington, D.C. While support for easing immigration requirements for highly skilled workers continues to be strong among SMB executives, more than half of the business leaders surveyed are against easing requirements for the general immigrant population. One-third of SMBs expect the Affordable Care Act will have a “large impact” on their companies and more than half foresee negative consequences should the federal minimum wage be raised to $10.10 per hour.

This quarter, the survey registered its highest levels of anti-immigration reform sentiment among business leaders. Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed said they either disagree or disagree strongly that the United States should ease requirements for all immigrants. In the previous quarterly survey, 48 percent held a disagreeing view on overall immigration reform.

“Small and mid-sized businesses often are a bellwether for what is happening economically and politically,” Scott Smith, chief marketing officer at Lucas Group, said. “Our goal with the SMB quarterly report is to illustrate how major policy issues are playing out in the business world and how they shape the growth and hiring plans of SMBs. Even if ongoing debates in Washington weigh down the overall engine of the economy, SMB leaders remain optimistic about the health of their companies and are bullish on their plans for growth.”

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