Taxes have overtaken health care as the leading concern for small business owners, according to the latest Small Business Research Board study. Taxes were the leading concern of business owners during the second quarter of 2007, replacing health care, which previously was cited as being the single greatest issue impacting small businesses. Some 770 small business owners in the U.S. who responded to the nationwide poll, co-sponsored by International Profit Associates, indicated that taxes were tops among key concerns of small business owners followed closely by overall economic conditions and energy/fuel costs. Health care was fifth on the list of concerns. The quarterly poll of small business owners and managers also indicated that taxes were the leading concern in two of the four U.S.. regions -- ranking number one in the South/Southeast and in the Western states. Taxes were ranked second in the Midwest and fourth in the Northeast. Meanwhile, economic conditions were identified as the leading concern by business owners in the both the Northeast and Midwest. However, neither energy and fuel nor health care finished in the top five in the Western U.S., where taxes and economic conditions were followed by foreign competition, the cost of materials and finding quality employees as the leading concerns.

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