Despite the administration's controversial decision to delay forcing companies to join Obamacare for a year, three-quarters of small businesses are still making plans to duck the costly law by firing workers, reducing hours of full-time staff, or shift many to part-time, according to a sobering survey released by the US Chamber of Commerce.
"Small businesses expect the requirement to negatively impact their employees. Twenty-seven percent say they will cut hours to reduce full time employees, 24% will reduce hiring, and 23% plan to replace full time employees with part-time workers to avoid triggering the mandate," said the Chamber business survey provided to Secrets.
Under Obamacare, just 30 hours not the nationally recognized 40 hours is considered full-time. Companies with 50 full-time workers or more are required to provide health care, or pay a fine.
The Chamber's second quarter small business survey found that just 30% are ready for the law and even understand what is required.
Dealing with Obamacare is the biggest worry of small businesses and comes as they continue to see a sluggish economy which has already put a brake on their hiring. Just 17% reported adding employees in the past two years. And only one-in-five small business owners believe that they will add employees in the next two years.
The Chamber added that "nearly one-in-four employers say the health care bill is their biggest obstacle to hiring more employees."
Other key findings from the Chamber Survey:
77 % continue to think the American economy is on the wrong track. However, small businesses are more optimistic about their local economy and individual business.
The majority (61 %) of small businesses do not have plans to hire next year.
Concerns about regulation have increased significantly from 35% last quarter to 42% now.
Small businesses are looking for leadership on issues that will remove barriers and encourage growth.
88% of all small businesses support addressing entitlement spending to resolve America's growing financial challenges and escalating debt.
83% support congressional efforts to reform the tax code with the majority focusing on making it less complex.
81% of small businesses surveyed believe the immigration system is broken and needs to be reformed.
In contrast to the president's recent speech pushing new energy regulations, 90% of small businesses support easing EPA regulations and opening up more federal lands for drilling.