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New Small Business Surveys: Uncertainty and ObamaCare Causing Main Street to Miss Out on Wall Street Recovery

Washington, Apr 4 -

WASHINGTON, DC – House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) today responded to the latest survey of small business owners by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and said that small businesses are still hampered by uncertainties caused by the federal government. The survey also shows that compliance with the health care law is now the greatest concern for many small companies. Another survey by PNC released today had similar results, showing that 75 percent of small businesses do not expect to add jobs for the next six months.

“The Wall Street recovery has clearly not reached Main Street yet,” said Chairman Graves. “A recovery that leaves out small businesses would be a fragile, short-lived resurgence at best. We need a strong small business economy to lift the job market. Federal policies from this administration are resulting in higher health care costs, higher taxes and higher energy prices that weigh heavily on small businesses. The Chamber survey highlights deeply felt concerns by the vast majority of small business owners, and it’s a shame that most of those concerns are caused by federal government policies, particularly the requirements of the health care law. The decision to delay the Small Business Health Options Program is another example of policy events that are creating more uncertainty as costs rise for our nation’s entrepreneurs.”

Key Findings of the Chamber Survey:

• 87% of small business owners are looking for more certainty compared to 5% looking for assistance.
• 78% of small businesses surveyed view the debt and deficit as a threat to the success of their business.

Health Care

• Requirements of the health care law are now the biggest concern for small businesses, having bumped economic uncertainty from the top spot, which it has held for the last two years.
• 77% say the health care law will make coverage for their employees more expensive, and 71% say the law makes it harder for them to hire more employees.
• 32% of small businesses plan to reduce hiring as a result of the employer mandate, and 31% will cut back hours to reduce the number of full-time employees.

Energy

• 77% of small businesses see higher energy prices as an immediate threat to their business, and 80% do not believe the Administration is doing enough to keep gas prices low, increase domestic energy sources, or develop an energy policy that supports American jobs. 

Tax Reform/Regulations

• Eight out of ten small businesses (79%) support comprehensive tax reform and over half (52%) indicated that the tax code should be made less complex.
• 84% say that regulations, restrictions, and taxes negatively impact their ability to do business.
• 76% of small businesses surveyed are organized as pass-through entities, which pay taxes on business income at the individual tax rate.

Key Findings of the PNC Survey:

• Only 15% of small businesses intend to add full-time employees during the next six months, down from spring 2012 (28%), while 8% plan to reduce full-time staff.

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