Political Issues and The Outlook of Small Business Owners
Apart from the organized efforts of the National Association of Women Business Owners and other associations and interest groups seeking to represent the self-employed, we still do not know if women owners will pursue a distinct politics, for example by widening the gender gap between political parties, or closing it. A study by Clarence Lo (1990) found that small business owners have been decisive participants in the tax reform movements in California and New Jersey.! This suggests that a political base may be built around specific issues of interest to small owners. The political issues the women business owners in New Jersey talk about in their interviews and everyday conversations reveal the economic and social pressures they must negotiate. Their commitments to family, local ties and self-interest, support an issue-based agenda that reflects both social and economic resources as well as constraints.