Trumped or pumped? Aussie SMEs react to President Trump

The media has been awash in its coverage of new US President Donald Trump, but what do Aussie businesses and their employees feel of its impact locally? Do they feel trumped, pumped or just plain stumped?

Speaking on the My Business Podcast about the latest quarterly Australian SME Business Sentiment Index, Andy Scott of Momentum Intelligence says Australian business owners are, by and large, taking a very pragmatic approach to the local implications of the president’s policies. However, their employees are markedly more concerned than their bosses.

“The question was, ‘What impact do you think Donald Trump's presidency will have on the economy overall?’ Now, that's a reasonably broad question, but Trump touts himself as a businessman, as an entrepreneurial guy, as someone who will really get the economy moving, not just on a national level, but his implication to the rest of the world will help those things move forward,” notes Andy.

“With business owners, we found that 28.1 per cent were mainly positive about the impact that he would have on the economy overall, which was getting up to almost a third. I suppose conversely you had 35.8 per cent who thought it was going to be mainly negative, and then of course you had 36 per cent that had little impact either way.”US President Donald Trump on the campaign trail

Andy says the relatively high proportion of business owners who feel American politics and policies will have little influence on the Australian economy is testament to the resilience and pragmatic nature of people who operate their own business.

The same, however, is not so apparent among workers employed by Aussie SMEs, who are more nervous about the broad implications of US politics on the Australian economy.

“I think what's interesting, though, is when you look at the employee, you see a very different picture,” explains Andy.

“We ask the same question, ‘What impact do you think Donald Trump's presidency will have on the economy overall?’ Nearly 50 per cent said negative: 48.8 per cent. So it's clear that the man or woman on the street is not a fan of the Big Don, that's for sure.”

Just 19.6 per cent of employees surveyed said they were positive about the president’s role on our economy, while just under a third (31.6 per cent) believe there will be little impact either way.

Interestingly, business owners and their employees were much more in unison when it came to the impacts Donald Trump’s presidency will have on their own company.

According to Momentum Intelligence’s figures, 70.8 per cent of business owners and 77 per cent of their employees see little impact either way on their company. The remainder of respondents in both camps were fairly evenly split between positive and negative.

“Something like this is great to see from afar, it's great to watch on the news at night, it's confounding sometimes to watch when he opens his mouth and says ... it's not so much what he says, but all the running around that goes with that,” says Andy.

“The reality is that [Australians think] ‘It's a long way away from what's happening in Australia, and it's not really going to affect me that much either way’.”

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