In a good news-bad news scenario, half of small business owners are optimistic about their growth prospects in 2011. However, 47 percent reported that recent government regulations have slowed or prevented growth, according to a small business survey from payroll and benefits outsourcing concern Paychex.
Tax changes (56 percent), health care reform (39 percent), and state regulations in response to budgetary challenges (25 percent) were cited as the top three regulatory issues having the most impact on small businesses, according to the survey. The research found that 61 percent of respondents have seen more government regulation over the past five years.
To gather the results, Paychex polled 565 randomly selected owners of small businesses with 50 or fewer employees.
“After several extremely difficult years for small businesses, 2011 is shaping up as a year when indicators of progress and growth appear to be moving in the right direction for many categories of small business,” said Paychex president and CEO Martin Mucci. “While regulation clearly weighs heavily on the minds of small business owners, optimism for growth and plans for adding employees bode well for small businesses in particular and the U.S. economy in general.”
Respondents were also asked their opinions about employee benefits. Fifty-nine percent of small business owners deem offering health insurance to be important, while 47 percent consider it important to offer retirement benefits. However, only 29 percent and 17 percent of all small business owners offer health insurance and 401(k) benefits, respectively.
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