Issues Affecting Your Business

business (7)With the many issues small business owners deal with every single day, the health care law is one of the most important ones affecting them right now.  Headlines about the health care law are everywhere, illustrating the condition business owners and individuals are finding themselves into, while figuring out the options for health insurance for them and their employees.

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Small business owners remain confused, misinformed about the health care law

It has been more than three and a half years since the health care law was signed, yet many small-business owners say they still don’t understand the legislation and what it means for their businesses, according to a new study.

Others, meanwhile, think they know more than they really do.

Half of small-business owners say they are only somewhat confident, not very confident or not at all confident that their company will be compliant with the law, parts of which create important new insurance requirements for certain employers. One third say they are not familiar with law, according to the first installment of a three-year health care study by the National Federation of Independent Business, a small-business lobbying group in Washington.

The new health care law has spent the past month in the political spotlight for all the wrong reasons, as its new online insurance marketplaces for individuals and small businesses have suffered a glitch-filled rollout. Just last week, it came to light that the site for employers would not be fully functional until the end of November, a month later than expected.

The Good News for Small Retailers Is That Shoppers Love You

Small retailers have lots of concerns this holiday season: A shorter than normal holiday shopping period, fallout from the government shutdown affecting consumers’ confidence and spending, and competition from big-box and online retailers with more sophisticated digital marketing tactics.

But there’s some good news that could potentially offset those difficulties: The 2013 Deluxe Annual Holiday Shopping Survey reports that consumers have a lot of goodwill toward small, local businesses and a great willingness to shop there.

More than one-third (35 percent) of consumers say they are going to shop at local, small businesses this year, an increase from the 27 percent who planned to last year. Of those, 57 percent are specifically doing so because they feel it is “important to support local businesses.” In addition to those who already plan to shop at small businesses, the vast majority (95 percent) of respondents say it’s important to support local independent businesses.

Thanks to a False Sense of Security, Small Businesses Are Skipping Cyber-Protection

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) should be paying more attention to the growing threat of cybercrime – but they are not. Despite overwhelming statistics that show this group to be at risk, more than three-quarters in a recent survey said they feel confident that they are not – and are failing to take protective measures.

McAfee has announced findings from a joint survey with Office Depot that revealed surprising security misconceptions among SMB owners. More than 1,000 SMBs participated in the Office Depot Small Business Index survey last month, and a super-majority (66%) felt confident that their data and devices are secure and safe from hackers, with 77% responding that they haven’t been hacked.

The results are at odds with industry research that has revealed these same businesses are actually prime targets of complex and evolving cyber threats. Almost three-quarters (72%) of data breaches investigated by Verizon Communications’ forensic analysis unit in its latest Data Breach Investigations Report were focused on companies with less than 100 employees, for instance.