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Tomorrow’s State of the State Address Top three concerns of Colorado small-business owners

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Tomorrow’s State of the State Address Top three concerns of Colorado small-business owners

DENVER, Colo., Jan. 9, 2013—On the eve of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s State-of-the-State Address, the representative group for Colorado’s biggest employer – small-business owners – released the top three concerns it would like to hear addressed in the governor’s speech.

 

The National Federation of Independent Business has 7,500 members in Colorado. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Colorado Small Business Profile, 98 percent of the state’s businesses are small enterprises.

Regulations—Continue efforts to streamline existing state regulations while looking at each one currently in force to see if it is serving a purpose and at what cost. (According the quadrennial Small Business Problems and Priorities study from the NFIB Research Foundation, unreasonable government regulations was the fifth biggest concern out of 75 measured by the Foundation and ahead of worries about taxes.)

Colorado Health Benefit Exchange—Now that Obamacare survived a U.S. Supreme Court challenge, the task for state policymakers is to make sure the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange delivers on its responsibility to bring health-care affordability to the more than half of small-business employers and employees without it. Additionally, the cost of running the exchange must not fall on the backs of small-business owners already burdened with myriad local, state, and federal regulations, taxes, and fees.

Mandates—Ideally, the governor should call for a moratorium, or threaten a veto of, any legislation aimed at saddling small-business owners with any new mandate, such as proposals barring the use of credit reports in making hiring decisions and one imposing federal remedies on state courts.

“With Obamacare now the law of the land, the tax and regulatory morass has only gotten deeper for business,” said Tony Gagliardi, Colorado state director for the National Federation of Independent Business. “This only further handicaps the traction needed for businesses to start expanding and creating jobs again. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t recommend anyone start or expand a business – and certainly not hire another soul – until we see how 2013 shakes out. The federal government continues to do enough damage. It would be great to hear Governor Hickenlooper assure Main Street, Colorado, that the state will not put in any further kicks.”

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