Some local businesses are making adjustments to their business plans because of the National Affordable Care Act. The policy also known as Obamacare will require businesses with more than 50 full time employees to offer and pay for health insurance coverage. Some business owners, like Jimmy John's franchise owner Tim Wulf say that requirement will stunt business growth.
"For me it means we just won't expand," Wulf says. "We owned three restaurants and that put us over the 50 employee limit so we sold one off two years ago. We saw this coming. I had plans of opening another one but that would have cost me close to $80,000 a year in healthcare coverage alone and it's just not worth it. So we'll stay with two."
On the other hand, Shila Morris who owns four Squeeze In restaurants says not only did they plan on employee coverage but that they'd be offering it even without the mandate.
"For us it was a priority. It was the right thing to do to get employees covered," she says. "Yes it costs to do it but we had it in our business plan. And if other businesses do the right thing they will make it a priority."
Nationally there has been a bit of a business backlash with companies balking at the idea of the cost. Some have said they would cut employee hours to under 30 a week to have all part-time workers, which would let them avoid the insurance requirement. Others have said they'd add the cost to the price of their products.
"Here at Jimmy John's our customers won't see any difference. We won't be cutting service or adding to the prices because of it. But neither will they expand which would have added more jobs to the local economy. And that's where this kind of policy could hurt the economy as a whole," Wulf says.
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