Small Business Perspective

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to upheld most of the federal healthcare law, a number of business owners are discussing how the measure would hurt them and their employees as a result.  Lawmakers who support the mandate say that businesses could greatly benefit through subsidies.  But some entrepreneurs say they have yet to be informed of what they are and how to take advantage of them.

White House Catering owner David Napier says he would love to expand, but the number of his full-time staffers hovers at under 50—where he knows the law will mandate that he provide health insurance.  He says salaries are his greatest expense, but health costs would overtake that.  He has inquired, but says information is not readily available to small business-owners to learn how to stay afloat while helping his staff as he would like to.

“I don’t know if I’m better off giving them a raise and telling them to go to Obamacare or do I do it. I mean I just don’t know. The uncertainty is what’s killing everybody and what’s killing my ability to make decisions and the bigger businesses here in downtown Richmond–is their ability to make decisions. So it’s one of those things that I feel responsible–maybe some business owners don’t–but I feel responsible to my employees in a holistic way. I mean I want their lives to be good. I want them to be there 10 years from now,” said Napier.

Napier says if subsidies exist and are less than the cost of hiring more people, then he’ll lose money.  He doesn’t believe small business-owners had input into the law and would rather repeal it than tweak what he thinks was muddled from the start.

–Tommie McNeil

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