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Small business owners are worried about the impact the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, will have on their business operations, according to a recent survey by Merchant Cash and Capital, a financing company for small businesses.
According to the survey of 542 small business owners, nearly one-third of respondents believe the law will increase operational expenses and 40 percent aren't sure how it will impact their business. In addition, one in four respondents said they will halt any growth initiatives in the near future as a result of the law.
"Small business confidence is critical to the progress of the current recovery," said MCC CEO Stephen Sheinbaum. "While we see that the economy is improving and our customers are charting growth, it is clear from the survey that continued confusion surrounding the rollout of Obamacare could potentially temper this positive momentum."
Additionally, one in five survey respondents said that they will put new hiring on hold as they navigate increasing operational expenses. Of those who said their expenses would increase due to Obamacare, 29 percent said they will cut costs by decreasing number of hours worked for certain employees.
The survey also measured small business owners' views about the employer mandates under the law. The majority (70 percent) of respondents said they currently have personal health insurance and 40 percent don't currently offer health insurance to employees and don't plan to.
Nine percent of respondents said they don't currently offer insurance but plan to use the SHOP exchange to provide employees with coverage. And, 6.4 percent of respondents said they currently do offer health insurance to employees, but will switch to a new health insurance plan provided through the exchange.
Merchant Cash and Capital conducted the online survey of 542 small business merchants (revenues under $10 million annually) in November 2013.
Read more about trends and statistics.