Affordable Care Act raises hiring concerns for small businesses - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Affordable Care Act raises hiring concerns for small businesses

Just one day after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, Americans are still learning how this law affects them.

Small business owners, in particular, are uneasy about what the law means for the future.

Business is thriving at Tyler Candy Company. The 71-year-old candy manufacturer ships peanut brittle, pecan logs and coconut bars nationwide.

Sales manager Ronald Sumicek says they have fewer than 50 employees now and could easily expand.

But, expansion brings concerns now that the United States Supreme Court says the government will force businesses with 50 or more employees to offer everyone health care by 2014.

"We have to think about how fast we want to expand to that point," Sumicek says.

Small businesses say this gives them another thing to consider when it comes to hiring.

"It would definitely punish people of my size so that we wouldn't look at expanding and bringing more people on to do the work," he says.

Tyler Economic Development Council President and CEO Tom Mullins says it's hard to say if the law will significantly impact the job market, but he says it is something local business are talking about.

"They just say, 'This is confusing. I'm not sure what all of my options are. I'm just going to wait until things become more clear to me,'" Mullins says.

He says, for a lot of small businesses, the future is uncertain when it comes to growth or even existence.

"Companies that digress, they lose momentum, and all of a sudden they're gone," Sumicek says.

Businesses with 50 or more employees who chose not to offer health care plans by 2014 will be forced to pay a government penalty.

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