Survey: Obamacare Grows More Unpopular With Small Businesses

Jul 16, 2013

Update: Infographic added. See below.

Obamacare's unpopularity has significantly increased among small business owners, one half of whom say that they will either cut hours to reduce full time employees or replace full time employees with part-timers to avoid the employer mandate that takes effect in January 2015. One quarter say they will freeze or slow hiring to stay under the 50-employee mandate threshold.

The U.S. Chamber's most recent quarterly small business survey shows that concern about the 2010 health care law has increased by 10 points since June 2011 and by four points since just last quarter, surpassing economic uncertainty as the top worry among small business owners. In part because of the health care law, the outlook for hiring remains grim, with 61% of small businesses saying that they do not have plans to hire in the next year, and 71% reporting that the health care law makes it more difficult to hire. 

“The impact of the health care law on small business gets worse with every day that passes,” says Rob Engstrom, U. S. Chamber senior vice president and national political director. “As we approach the 2014 elections, we will hold members of Congress accountable for votes on policies that paralyze growth and job creation. And health care will be a defining issue for the business community.”

The percentage of respondents who reported being concerned about regulations rose from 35% in the last quarterly survey to 42% in the current survey. “Excessive regulation is having a crippling effect on job growth among small businesses," says Engstrom. “In fact, the only thing that scares small businesses more than the current business climate is what Washington bureaucrats will do next. Today’s tough economic climate demands leadership on today’s big issues.”

Additional survey findings:

  • Only 30% say they are prepared for the requirements of the law, including participation in the marketplaces, and one-quarter say they are unaware of what is required.
  • 77% think the U.S. economy is on the wrong track. However, small businesses are more optimistic about their local economy.
  • 88% 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% believe the immigration system is broken and needs to be reformed.
  • 90% support easing EPA regulations and opening up more federal lands for drilling.

The survey of more than 1,300 small business executives (defined as executive level position in a company with fewer than 500 employees and annual revenue less than $25 M) was conducted online by Harris Interactive from June 21 to July 3 2013. shows that concerns about regulation have increased significantly and hiring continues to be stalled by uncertainty and regulatory burdens.

Here's an infographic of the survey's findings.

Click here to download the above infographic

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