"Excessive regulation is having a crippling effect on job growth among small businesses, as our latest small-business survey makes clear," Rob Engstrom, the chamber's senior vice president, said in releasing the survey. "In fact, the only thing that scares small businesses more than the current business climate is what Washington bureaucrats will do next."
Small-business owners' concerns regarding the Affordable Care Act increased by 4 percentage points during the first quarter of 2013 and by a double-digit margin during the past year, The Hill reported Tuesday.
About one-third of respondents said they weren't prepared to comply with the new rules, while one-quarter said they didn't know what they had to do to comply.
Seventy-one percent of the small-business executives who responded to the poll said the healthcare law would make them less likely to hire employees, and 24 percent said they intended to reduce hiring to stay below the 50-employee limit that would require employers to provide health insurance to employees.
The Obama administration this month announced it would delay by one year the employer mandate to provide insurance.
The Harris International survey involved 1,304 small-business executives from companies with fewer than 500 employees and less than $25 million in annual revenues. No dates or margin of error were provided.