Survey: Health insurance costs drive uncertainty among small business owners
Uncertainty is the top problem faced by small business owners, a National Federation of Independent Business survey says.
The cost of health insurance was a major driver of this uncertainty, with 52.3 percent of small businesses considering it a “critical” concern.
“Fears over increasing health insurance costs continue to dominate the list of concerns for small businesses, very much in spite of the president’s health insurance reform law — certainly not an endorsement of the policy, nor a good sign for the future of the sector,” said Holly Wade, senior policy analyst and author of the recent NFIB survey on the topic.
NFIB joined the multi-state lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, which was decided by the Supreme Court in favor of the Obama administration this summer.
A separate study by online service company Thumbtack.com and the the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management revealed similar concerns in the small business world during this fall campaign season.
Small business owners agree that job creation and the economy are the most important issues when it comes to picking their president. Ethics, honesty and corruption in government rank next.
“Six thousand small business owners have told an unusually nuanced story about the factors that drive their political decisions,” said Sander Daniels, co-founder of Thumbtack.com. “When job creators speak, we need to listen.”
The Small Business Administration defines small businesses as a business with no more than 500 employees for manufacturing or mining, or $7 million in annual receipts for non-manufacturing.
“According to US Census data, 91.6% of small businesses have between one and five workers,” this new survey notes.
The slow economic recovery has been very hard on small businesses, despite the stimulus and other programs the Obama administration has implemented.
“My self-employed business is completely dependent upon the economy,” said one survey respondent from New York City. “I’m a marriage officiant, and many wedding plans fail to carry through because of job loss and change in economic status.”
“I am very angry that there are zillions of dollars for the US to wage war and prepare for future wars but none for federal investment in infrastructure that will create millions of jobs!” the respondent said.
“Small businesses are deeply attuned to the effect of politics on job creation and the economy,” said Dr. David Rehr, a lead researcher on the study with the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. “Entrepreneurs are feeling squeezed by the tight lending environment and want their political leaders to curb the influence of money in politics.”
Access to loans was also a major issue for Thubmtack users.
“Personally, I have lost complete faith in our government,” said one Las Vegas, N.V. small business owner.”We have thousands of choices for products, yet we have two lousy choices for our leaders.”
“Our government serves big businesses and big businesses only. Our votes don’t matter. The whole system is corrupt,” the disheartened citizen said.
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