These days, many small business owners across the country are trying to juggle a number of considerations at any given time as they strive to keep their companies afloat. However, some experts believe that many of these entrepreneurs are now being overly burdened by factors outside their control, such as greater government regulation.
The largest of these regulatory efforts is clearly the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, part of which mandates that small businesses with 50 or more employees will soon have to provide their workers with health insurance options if they do not do so already, according to a report from the Staten Island Advance. While the vast majority of companies of this size nationwide already do so, the fact of the matter is that thousands still do not, and would therefore face added costs going forward. Likewise, there are other proposals on the table which might have other effects on cost increases, such as those that would raise the federal minimum wage, or mandate that all workers get paid sick time.
“Over the last couple of years many small businesses have seen their profit margin decrease,” Linda Baran, president of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, told the newspaper. “Business owners are now looking at the entire package they offer to their employees. Right now I think small businesses are keeping an eye on their costs and how much money they can spend. Usually, your salaries, insurance and fringe benefits are a big cost to the employer. In recent years, you’ve seen a lot of cost sharing and that’s the way employers have tried to manage health care costs.”
What can owners do?
The good news for all cost-conscious owners is that these mandates are still a ways away, so they have the ability to do a little bit of homework and preparation to see how they’re going to be affected, the report said. For instance, the ACA’s coverage mandate for businesses doesn’t go into effect until 2015, and the rules related to minimum wage and paid sick leave haven’t been passed into law quite yet.
Owners might also want to keep in mind that they can do more to reduce their own internal costs, too. For example, shopping around for more affordable small business insurance coverage, like consultant insurance, could end up saving them significant amounts of money every year.