N.J. small-business owners fret about costs of Obamacare, D.C. gridlock

A new survey finds that small businesses in New Jersey have a dim view of the future.

Only 6 percent of the owners polled by the National Federation of Independent Business say this is a good time to expand.

Small-business owners are concerned about the political climate in Washington and problems with the launch of the Obamacare website, said Laurie Ehlbeck, state director of the business group.

“If they’re not sure what to predict in the future as far as what their expenses and responsibilities are going to be, they’re hesitant to make any changes in staffing or other improvements to their business,” she said Tuesday.

There is also uncertainty about the amount of future increases in New Jersey’s minimum wage and proposed legislation that would require all businesses in the state to have paid sick leave for their employees, Ehlbeck said.

Voters this month approved a referendum that raises the minimum wage to $8.25 and provides increases based on the cost of living.

Still, Ehlbeck said, New Jersey business owners may become more optimistic because they’re not expecting any new state taxes or fees since there was no shift in political power in the recent elections.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal