That's the claim of The Nation's article Meet the New Left: Small Business Owners. Key quote from the article on what you will hear if you listen closely to small business owners:
"you will hear jarring expressions of distinctly liberal opinions. And they express salty disgust for the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business, which claim to speak for the little guys on Main Street. Actually, these little guys accuse the US Chamber and the NFIB of identity theft."
The article goes on to discuss liberal leaning small business associations and their work. The featured groups are the American Sustainable Business Council, the Main Street Alliance and the Small Business Majority.
Not surprisingly, if you do some digging you will find all three of these groups have links to the Democratic party and various progressive groups. In other words, these groups are not non-partisan and they pretty much line up in lockstep with the Democratic party on policy issues.
But don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing them for being partisan. As we've pointed out in the past, there are few non-partisan policy oriented think tanks or trade associations. That's just how DC works.
Other examples of this partisanship include the two best known small business trade associations - The Nationa Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They both lean right politically and tend to line up lockstep with the Republican party on policy issues.
We like and respect all of these groups and the work they do. But we also understand they are partisan and their work often reflects their support for their political party of choice.
Our advice to small business owners when dealing with these group is:
1. When you read policy positions or research from these groups understand that their political orientation has likely had an impact on their work.
2. When choosing a group to join or support do some research and make sure you join or support a group that reflects your values and/or the values of your business.
3. Get used to hearing multiple voices with very different messages claiming to be "the voice of small business" in DC.
BTW, the answer to the title question is no; small business owners are not the new left. Surveys consistently show small business owners are more likely to be Republicans or lean Republican than be Democrats or Democrat leaning.
For example, 46% of the respondents of a recent small business poll by the left leaning Small Business Majority said they were Republican or lean Republican. 35% said they were Democrats or Democrat leaning.
But more importantly, pretty much all small business owners are pragmatists when it comes to government policies that impact their business. Because of this, they are not ideologues. They will support policies from any party that they believe will help their business thrive.