Gallup: Health costs are No. 1 concern for small businesses

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Businesses also identified rising healthcare costs as an impediment to hiring, according to Gallup. Sixty-one percent said concerns about the cost of healthcare are causing them not to hire new employees — No. 4 on the list, behind not needing any additional employees, concerns about sales and revenues and concerns about the overall economy.

Some small-business owners, particularly franchise owners, have cut their employees' hours to avoid complying with the law's employer mandate, which requires most businesses to provide health benefits to their workers.

The National Federation of Independent Business, which represents small businesses, was a leading plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging the healthcare law's individual mandate, and has been a vocal critic of "ObamaCare."

The law provides tax credits to encourage small businesses to provide healthcare coverage, although the credits are relatively narrow and have not been claimed widely.