Is Small Business Hiring Slowing Down?

business (10)A Washington Post article by J.D Harrison dated April 30th. talks about  how small business hiring has remain flat in April, and the belief that the projections of greater figures in the small business sector has fallen short. The news can lead one to wonder whether the rising costs of health care and the minimum wage increase has led small business owners to think about those issues first before hiring.

Read more about this topic by following the links below.

Small business weekly: Minimum wage, maximizing loans and expensive limes

A review of the biggest small business and startup stories from the past week, with a special focus on Washington.

SBA slammed: During a hearing last week, Democrats and Republicans on the House Small Business Committee ripped into the Small Business Administration for creating several new entre pre neur ship training programs that have not been approved by Congress while pulling back on some of its long-standing counseling programs. (OSB)

Nation’s job engine? While employers as a whole posted strong job gains last month, small businesses are still struggling to pick up the pace. Hiring by small companies was flat in April, according to the latest readings by ADP, while their share of the nation’s total job gains declined for the fourth consecutive month. (OSB)

Mimimum wage splits businesses: Senate Republicans last week blocked legislation from moving forward that would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.00 per hour. Some small business owners say the legislation would cripple their companies by driving up labor costs, while others strongly favor raising the floor on wages. (OSB)

Many Small Employers Face Rising Insurance Costs Under ACA

Size matters – when it comes to the impact of the Affordable Care Act on employers. For the next three days ideastream health reporter Sarah Jane Tribble will walk us through the differences. She starts the series today by going to a bar.

Paul Siperke is the co-owner of Fat Heads – a popular brew pub in North Olmstead. He has fewer than 50 full-time employees, so he’s classified under the Affordable Care Act as a small business.

He doesn’t have to provide health insurance to his employees. But that’s what he’s been doing despite some pretty crazy volatility in rates.

“They just seemed to keep going up every year.  One year we got a 38 percent increase, another year we got 11. One year we got 3,” Siperke says.”

This year, under the Affordable Care Act, he saw another hike – this one for about 20 percent.

“It just seems odd that we get such a drastic price increase when nothing has really changed with us as far as our employees and health issues,” he says.

Until now, if employees were healthy and claims were few, premium prices were relatively good. But, for a small business, if even one employee was in a car accident or was diagnosed with cancer, insurance costs could skyrocket the next year.

Advice for small businesses navigating Obamacare

Serving as a partner in a health care staffing and consulting firm, health insurance costs were the second largest expense only to employee salaries.

We maintained a commitment to providing health benefits to our team, but each year the cost would climb often by double digits, forcing tough decisions on whether to reduce benefits, increase employee shares or take a bite out of the bottom line.

As a business owner, the decision to offer health benefits is critically important particularly in light of the roll out of the Affordable Care Act.

Health benefits help companies recruit and retain talent in their workforce. A recent survey by Towers and Watson found that more than half of employees surveyed identified the health plan offered as a major reason to stay with their current employer.

Small business has traditionally been at a disadvantage providing these benefits facing higher premiums and administrative costs than large employers.

Much attention on the Affordable Care Act has been on the individual health care coverage options and the technical challenges with the exchange website. Depending on where you stand on the issue, the act has been a great success at enrolling millions of uninsured into coverage, or complete failure in both concept and implementation.