That is what one official is saying the reaction of many small business owners has been to the implementation and requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
That is one reason a special seminar on the new law has been scheduled for Monday morning at Cleveland State Community College.
“We are partially funded by the Small Business Administration and their focus on this is to help people in small business to understand the Affordable Care Act,” said David Hudson, director of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center which will host the meeting.
The session will begin at 11 a.m. in Room 130 of the college’s Technology Building and is scheduled to last one hour.
“Small-business people, including ourselves here and anybody who watches TV more than two minutes every two months, has seen a lot of confusion, and things are in flux right now,” Hudson said. “Things seem to change day by day.”
Jacqueline Merritt of the U.S. Small Business Association will be the presenter for what Hudson says will be the facts “as they stand at that point.”
“They have probably the most current information,” he said. “There are so many rumors around and a lot of false information. I think their information will be the most accurate and up-to-date for right now.”
He said the seminar is free and will be open to the general public, but asks those planning to attend to inform the TSBDC office, although registration is not necessary.
Hudson said he is constantly getting questions about what businesses should be prepared to do.
“The best we can do is to give people the most accurate information we have right now,” Hudson said. “We don’t know more than anybody else. But we can’t base all our decisions on rumors and hearsay.”
He said the best advice he can give businesses is not to panic.
“The percentages of businesses that are going to be affected is fairly small,” Hudson said.
He said the one thing his office and the seminar will not do is get into the political debate about the law.
“We are apolitical and that debate is not our function,” Hudson said. “We are just here to help people make the right decision. Health care today is a big decision, and it’s a big decision for people who are going into business.”
He noted small business owners need to decide how much of their employees’ insurance they will pay.
“That kind of stuff is up in the air also,” Hudson said. “So, the best we can do is say here is what it is for right now.”
With health care playing such a large part in beginning a new business, Hudson said it depends on the person when encouraging the progression of a business idea.
“Running your own business will change your life and hopefully for the better,” Hudson said. “We encourage people to do that if they have the right mindset and they have done their homework, hopefully with our help.”
He said the staff at TSBDC have all had business experience and hope to prevent others from making decisions staff members may have made in their own business experiences.
“It’s as important to avoid the bad things as it is to do the right things,” he said.
From the statistics Hudson cites, there are plenty of new businesses in the area to more and fill the 45 spaces available for Monday’s informational session.
“When the total of number of equity and jobs are figured, the district we serve here is No. 2 in the whole state out of 14,” Hudson said.
“We have some substantial sized clients, but we’re not abandoning the small businesses, because that’s our bread and butter.”
The TSBDC can be reached at 478-6247.