Two-thirds of small businesses aren’t ready for ObamaCare, survey finds

Less than a third of small businesses say they’re prepared for the regulatory mandates under ObamaCare, a new survey from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found.

The business lobby's quarterly survey of small firms found a concerns over the law have increased by a double-digit margin over the last year, and by 4 percentage points since the first three months on 2013.

“Excessive regulation is having a crippling effect on job growth among small businesses, as our latest small-business survey makes clear,” said Rob Engstrom, the Chamber’s senior vice president. “In fact, the only thing that scares small businesses more than the current business climate is what Washington bureaucrats will do next.”

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The survey found that 30 percent of businesses were not ready to comply with the new rules. Roughly 25 percent reported not knowing what they had to do to follow the law.

Seventy-one percent of the more than 1,300 small-business executives polled said they would be less likely to hire employees because of the healthcare law, according to the survey.

Twenty-four percent said they plan to reduce hiring to stay beneath the 50-employee threshold that would trigger a requirement to provide insurance for their workers or pay a penalty.

The survey follows this month’s decision by the Obama administration to postpone that provision, known as the employer mandate, for a year.

House Republicans are now pressing legislation requiring the delay of both the employer mandate and the individual mandate, which requires most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty. 

“It’s unfair to protect big businesses without giving the same relief to American families and small businesses,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday during a speech on the House floor. “I hope Democrats and Republicans alike will vote to do what’s fair and to protect all Americans from this disastrous law.”

In total, 1,304 small-business executives from around the country participated in the survey, which was commissioned by the Chamber and conducted by the firm Harris International. A small business was defined as having fewer than 500 employees and less than $25 million in annual revenue.

The Chamber did not release a margin of error for the survey.