The small business community is frustrated and angry about the business and political climate in California, if my experience yesterday is a guide.

At the request of California National Federation of Independent Business executive director, John Kabateck, I had the privilege of moderating a panel on Employer and Labor relations in the current political environment at NFIB’s yearly conference.

However, it was before that panel began that I saw the concern of small business in the questions from the attendees directed at Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway, state senator Anthony Cannella, assembly members Shannon Grove and Henry Perea, and especially senate pro tem, Darrell Steinberg.

Questioner after questioner blasted the state for undercutting business. Many of the business owners complained of laid-off workers, lost profits, and even watching other companies leave the state.

One business owner stated that her business dropped from 40 employees to 12. Another said he wasn’t interested in tax credits. He wanted to pay his taxes–on profits. He complained that the regulations and tax burden suffocated profits.

Public sector employees came in for the wrath of these small business owners. One business owner complained about the number of state holidays and the pension plans for public sector workers. The public workers are upset over furloughs while I have to let my workers go, this business owner said.

There were concerns over too many laws and regulations– and too many taxes, the latter issue raised by many.

If the NFIB group at the conference is representative of the small business community as a whole, the governor will find few votes from small business if his tax extension/increase measures make the ballot.

One interesting side note from Assemblyman Perea: He said if the business community sticks together it could get something done in the legislature. However, he noted that quite often, different members of the business community are split over issues before the legislature and don’t present a uniform message.