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New Survey Shows Small Businesses Interested in “Going Green” But Having Trouble Affording It

April 23, 2009

The National Small Business Association (NSBA), SBAM’s national affiliate, today released data showing that cash flow is the number one reason small-business owners are unable to make their firms more energy efficient. Despite restricted cash flow—likely due to the economic downturn—more than a third of small-business owners have invested in energy efficiency for their business in the last 18 months, however. This data is part of an NSBA survey released on Earth Day to spotlight the important relationship between energy efficiency and small business.

“We are seeing a trend among small-business owners who are looking to improve not just their bottom but the environment as well,” stated NSBA President Todd McCracken. “One-third of survey respondents said their business is currently offering energy saving products or services, and nearly a quarter actively strive to do business with “green” companies.”

Although just 18 percent reported that they plan to invest in energy-efficiency improvements in the coming year, nearly half said they would do so if provided with increased information, technical assistance, grants and/or rebates. Additionally, 67 percent said they would consider investing in alternative energy sources if provided with increased information, technical assistance, grants and/or rebates. Sixty-one percent said they would consider investing in alternative-fuel or hybrid vehicles for their business if it was accompanied by a tax credit.

“Given the extremely difficult economic challenges small businesses have been facing over the last nearly two years, the fact that there are still a significant number investing in energy efficiency is a testament to the important leadership role small businesses can take in any green movement,” said NSBA Chair Keith Ashmus of Frantz Ward LLP in Cleveland, Ohio.

NSBA has long held the belief that energy efficiency and entrepreneurial growth can go hand-in-hand. Ninety percent of businesses surveyed have been negatively impacted by rising and/or volatile energy prices, and they are actively looking for ways to minimize the harm.

Please click here view the full survey results.

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