Wednesday, July 17, 2013

US Chamber of Commerce Survey finds small business against Obamacare

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.

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