Alcohol has been in gasoline since at least the early 1990's. It's there to reduce emissions the way diesel has limits on sulfur to reduce harmful emissions.
To those that complain that alcohol is in gas, remember the days when dry gas (alcohol) was added in the winter?
This means that small engine manufacturers have had 30 years to figure how to make their equipment run well on gas/alcohol mix.
I think it's a stretch to say that ethanol has been in gasoline since the early 90's. I remember going from lead to MBTE. That disaster was banned starting in 2004 and replaced with ethanol, another disaster.
You also can't compare the use of dry gas. A few ounces added to a tank of gas- the percentage would hardly approach the 10% and up we have to deal with today. Further, I doubt anybody used it for small engines.
So your statement that small engine manufacturers have had 30 years to figure how to make their equipment run well on gas/alcohol mix is hardly inaccurate.