Originally Published: August 11, 2013 6 a.m.
Uncertainty about the provisions of the 2010 healthcare law was recently cited as the biggest challenge facing the business community in a small business quarterly outlook study conducted for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Healthcare concerns have now surpassed economic uncertainty as the top concern for nearly half of the business owners who responded to the survey.
The complete list of challenges ranked by survey respondents included healthcare (49 percent), over-regulation (44 percent), economic uncertainty (44 percent), America's growing debt (40 percent), high taxes (33 percent), a complicated tax code (19 percent), loss of revenue (17 percent), high energy/gas prices (13 percent), and a lack of qualified or educated employees (11 percent).
The healthcare concerns, according to the U.S. Chamber, stem from a lack of preparedness for requirements of the law. Only 30 percent said that they are prepared, including understanding what is required to participate in the healthcare insurance exchanges. According to the survey, small businesses expect the employer mandate provisions to negatively impact their employees.
What will your business need to do in order to comply with the new healthcare act? When will you need to do something? These and many other questions need answers as the new plan begins to take effect this year and next. For Prescott, help in understanding the law is on the way! Thanks to the help provided by State Rep. and Speaker of the House Andy Tobin, we have secured an expert on the Affordable Healthcare Act to speak to members of the Prescott Chamber. Kathy Steadman, a partner with Hennelly & Steadman in Phoenix, will dissect the law and what it means to your business and your employees. Steadman's practice deals with healthcare and employee benefits. She is a graduate of Utah State University with a B. A. in Business, and holds a law degree from Arizona State University.
This special, two-hour program will be held Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 9-11 a.m. in the Marina Room of the Hassayampa Inn. Light refreshments and drinks will be available. To make this program affordable for all members, the registration cost will be only $10 per person. Non-members can attend at a $20 rate per person and may apply this payment as a discount to a one-year chamber membership if you join by Aug. 30. Call Debbie Ledbetter at the chamber (445-2000) to make a paid reservation, or reserve and pay online at www.prescott.org/reservations.
Quarterly Women in Business lunch is Wednesday
Brenda Eakin, director of operations at Hospice Family Care, will be the featured speaker at the chamber's quarterly Women in Business luncheon Wednesday, Aug. 14, noon-1:15 p.m., at the Hassayampa Inn's Marina Room. Eakin has worked in the hospice industry for 18 years. Prior to that, she was a labor and delivery nurse and also worked in emergency services before finding hospice. She has held positions in sales, marketing and operations with hospice, and also was a regional vice-president covering six states before taking her current position with Hospice Family Care.
The lunch is co-sponsored by APS and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. Pre-paid reservations can be made online (prescott.org/reservations), or by calling Debbie Ledbetter at the chamber. The lunch program is $20 for members and $25 for non-members.
Welcome new members
The chamber wel-comes the following new members: Prescott Adventure Boot Camp for Women; Prescott Back Country Tours; 203 Organix; AZ Brits, LLC and Better Deal Printing. The chamber also welcomes back El Gato Azul!
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