Many of you have started a business solo with the intention of hiring employees as soon as business justifies it. Unfortunately, the cost of being an employer is a genuine obstacle to small business growth. Bringing on that first employee is a major hurdle that some some businesses never quite overcome. The cost of providing healthcare to employees is one of the largest problems. But hope may be in sight.
The New York Times today carried an interesting piece on the affordability (or not) of health insurance for small businesses and their employees. At least three possible solutions are in progress:
- Allowing small businesses to band together to take advantage of the buying power with insurance carriers – The states of New Mexico and Montana, and the U.S. Congress, are looking into this option.
- Extending tax credits to small employers that provide medical coverage – Arizona is going this route.
- Laws governing what insurers can charge small companies – This third option is being explored by Colorado and other states.
These are hopeful developments. If the U.S. can solve this serious problem for small businesses, I believe it will have a very positive impact on economic growth. After all, businesses like yours are the engines of growth in an economy. Write your Representative in Congress!