Small companies cautious about growth for next year

With economic issues and new health care regulations in the forefront, business owners in New Jersey and other parts of the country may not be very optimistic about growth in 2014. Although the goal of any business is to grow, many small companies are facing barriers that could make hiring more employees in the next few years a major challenge.

A survey conducted last year by U.S. Bank showed that 20 percent of small business owners were planning to hire. This year, the number dipped to 16 percent. Business owners were also more optimistic last year. Forty-six percent expected to see an increase in revenue last year, while only 41 percent expected more revenue when asked this year.

Many small companies do not offer benefits to their employees. This would change with the Affordable Care Act, which would make it illegal for companies with 50 or more employees to refuse to offer health insurance. Because health insurance is a huge cost for companies, they may delay hiring so that they don't exceed this number of employees.

Economic conditions are also a big factor in hiring delays. Taxes and the federal deficit are financial issues that could affect smaller companies.

Small companies often seem to be affected the most when it comes to federal issues, such as unemployment and taxes. All businesses require Employment Identification Numbers so that they can be tracked by the IRS and pay appropriate taxes. Licenses and permits may also be needed, which can be costly. There are many costs involved in operating a business, resulting in limited profits.

Source: Entrepreneur, " Survey: Fewer Small Businesses Expect to Hire or Grow," Cheryl Winokur Munk, April 22, 2013

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