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Small Business Owners Willing To Pay More for "Green" Products


Latest Wells Fargo/Gallup survey - small business owners are environmentally savvy, want to help reduce greenhouse effects

It may be more expensive “being green” but small business owners are willing to go the extra mile, even if it costs more, to show their customers they care about the environment. The latest survey results from the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index reveal that two-thirds of small business owners surveyed say they would be willing to pay more for goods and services to run their businesses if they knew they were environmentally-friendly.

“Environmental actions I take today with my business will help ensure that our company can continue to grow and thrive in the future,” said Harlan Lee, president and CEO of Virginia-based Harlan Lee & Associates - a consulting company specializing in socially conscious, “green conferencing” techniques. “Combining business practices with a responsibility for the environment is the right thing to do. If every small business owner could share best practices and take simple steps to incorporate environmental activities, together, we could make a very large impact on the success of our businesses, our customers, and ultimately our environment.”

Even though a large number of small business owners say they’re willing to pay more for environmentally-friendly goods and services, many have concerns that their customers may be reluctant to share the added costs. Fewer than half (43 percent) of all small business owners surveyed believe their customers would be willing to pay more for environmentally-friendly goods and services, while one in every two (49 percent) did not think their customers would be willing to pay more.

Small business owners were also asked whether they favored or opposed specific environmental proposals. Seventy-eight percent favored spending government money to develop alternate sources of fuel for automobiles. Other favored proposals include spending more government money on developing solar and wind power (76 percent) and setting higher emissions and pollution standards for business and industry (75 percent).

“Forty-seven percent of small business owners surveyed said they are already taking steps to show customers they are environmentally-friendly,” said Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann, executive vice president and head of Wells Fargo’s small business segment. “It’s encouraging to see this vital segment of the economy weave the environment into their everyday business practices.”


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