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Top Challenges for Small Business in 2013

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AP Photo

AP Photo/Toby Talbot

Between health care debates, the government shutdown, budget issues, and hiring problems, small businesses were hit hard in 2013.

Many people were annoyed with the federal overhaul of the healthcare system, but small business owners were probably the most perturbed. According to Associated Press, glitches on the federal healthcare website have caused delays until November 2014. Until then, businesses have to purchase insurance through brokers and agents. Coverage purchased must be in accordance with new federal guidelines by January 1, 2014.

While some business owners aren’t happy about the new plans, others found that rates were similar to what they were previously paying. By the end of 2014, it’s projected that the true effect of the new healthcare system on small businesses will be made apparent.

At the beginning of 2013, small businesses created 106,000 jobs, but by October, that number fell to an average of 70,000 per month. Owners didn’t have the sales or profits to back up bringing on more workers, and the health care overhaul negatively affected hiring decisions. However, next year is looking up so far: In a survey conducted by Bank of America, 56 percent of small business owners replied that they planned to hire new employees in 2014.

This past March, there was $85 million in government budget cuts, which affected small businesses with contracts in the federal government. In the fall, when the government shut down, there was a harmful impact on small businesses, which were being waitlisted for federal loans. Ones with government contracts found that their employees were not being paid during the shutdown as well.

When it came to lending, small businesses on the larger end had better luck getting credit from banks and lending agencies. Though the smaller ones saw increased revenue and grew faster, banks were not eager to dole out loans to them.

In September, however, the Small Business Administration 7(a) loan program was growing, and banks made $18 billion from them at the close of the fiscal year.

Since more than 99 percent of companies in the United States are small businesses, it’s crucial that they’re taken care of in 2014. Hopefully it’ll be a better year than this was for small business owners and employees nationwide.

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