• Small-business owners are generally pleased with the condition of the streets, roads, highways, and bridges in the area(s) where they do business. Eighty-seven (87) percent believe that they are at least satisfactory. Just five percent classify them as poor.
• Thirty-seven (37) percent of small-business owners say traffic congestion is a bigger problem than road conditions while 14 percent believe road conditions are a bigger problem than traffic congestion. Yet, 44 percent volunteer that neither traffic congestion nor road conditions (poor) are a problem compared to 4 percent who volunteer that both are problems. The more urban the area the business is located, the more likely the owner is to cite traffic congestion.
• Over one-third (35%) of small-business owners say traffic congestion and/or road conditions are increasing their costs of doing business. However, just 5 percent classify the higher costs as significant. Sales are less impacted than costs. Twenty-one (21) percent believe that road conditions and/or traffic congestion hurt sales. Yet, only 2 percent consider the damage significant. Owners of businesses in urban areas are most often affected.
• Small businesses (employers with 1-249 employees) use an estimated 26-27 million vehicles in their businesses with 82 percent possessing at least one. Trucks are the most frequent type of vehicle used. Just over half (52%) of small businesses use an average of 4.2 trucks per firm. Forty-four (44) percent use cars and 41 percent SUVs.
• Customers typically reach a small business’s premises by driving and small-business owners believe (95%) that their customers have reasonable access to parking near the business. The overwhelming majority of small-business employees also typically reach the firm by driving. Few customers or employees arrive via other transportation modes, including on foot.
• Sixty-four (64) percent say that their business is accessible by public transit. Yet, only a small number of customers, employees or owners arrive at the site using it.
• Nineteen (19) percent of small-business owners report that they have one or more employees who work primarily from their homes. Three-quarters of these have two or fewer employees who telecommute. The reasons employees are allowed to telecommute center almost exclusively on immediate business reasons and rarely are directly associated with traffic congestion or poor roads.
• Almost one-quarter (24%) of small-business owners take fewer than five minutes door-to-door to reach work on a typical day, not surprising given the number whose businesses are in or around their residence. Almost 60 percent take fewer than 15 minutes to reach their businesses and 80 percent take less than one-half hour. Seven percent report that it takes them 45 minutes or more.
• Street/road/highway transportation affects where small-business owners choose to relocate their business (when they do) and where they add new locations (when they do). The former decision is more likely to be influenced by the owner’s commuting time in combination with the availability of customer and employee parking while the latter decision is more likely to be influenced by the availability of customer and employee parking.