If you are a business opportunity, franchise or other small business owner, chances are you’ve got some concerns heading into 2013 and rightly so. How could you not, when there is so much that is unsettled? And, even if it is settled, so confusing?
With all the political wrangling these last few years, it’s really a wonder any of us can keep track of it all. As a result, uncertainty more or less has become the order of the day, and perhaps nowhere more so than with regard to the potential costs of Obamacare—more formally known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—and its potential impact on small businesses.
While it is true that uncertainty has and always will be an inherent part of owning and operating any business, being in limbo is especially difficult—so much so that having resolution of some kind, whether we like it or not, can be viewed as preferable. After all, if we know what we’re dealing with, we can plan accordingly and move forward.
Regarding the healthcare debate, the verdict is in…Obamacare is a reality and slated for nearly complete implementation by the end of 2014. However, all indications are that the confusion and speculation about healthcare for small businesses very much remain.
According to the latest quarterly Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Survey, while small business owners are more optimistic about the future than they have been in quite some time, healthcare costs and taxes remain their top two worries, and in that order. It should be no real surprise to anyone then that Obamacare’s potential effects on small business are already having a significant impact on everything from hiring to investment, and that the hunger for information and answers in the face of the unknown is tremendous.
In an effort to educate and inform small business owners about the ACA and provide them with continuous updates regarding its implementation, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) launched a new web page and blog, called Health Care Business Pulse, just this week. The site provides an easy-to-understand breakdown of the ACA’s key provisions in accordance with business size, including self-employed, fewer than 25 employees, fewer than 50 employees and more than 50 employees, all in an effort to clarify how Obamacare will or will not affect small business owners in particular.
“The Affordable Care Act provides small business owners with access and opportunity to provide affordable health care options for their employees,” SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills said in a recent statement. “(The) new web page and blog will serve as a resource for (those) who want to learn more about how (they can) take advantage of these benefits.” It will also be a “gateway” for small business owners to obtain valuable information from and connect with SBA’s implementation partners at the federal level, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Let us hear from you…
Take a look at the SBA’s new website, and tell us what you think! Did you find it helpful? Is there something you know now having read it that you perhaps didn’t know before?