California Small Businesses More Likely to Offer Health Insurance After Learning of Key Provisions in Healthcare Law

New poll shows tax credits, insurance exchanges in year-old Affordable Care Act attractive to California employers not currently offering health benefits, however most small firms don't know the provisions exist

Mar 21, 2011, 03:04 ET from Pacific Community Ventures from ,Small Business Majority

SAN FRANCISCO, March 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- More workers employed by California small businesses would have health insurance if their employers knew about key provisions in the national healthcare law, according to a new poll by Pacific Community Ventures.

One year after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 43 percent of small businesses not offering insurance said they would be more likely to do so once they learned about small business healthcare tax credits, a key provision in the law, according to the survey of 804 California small employers with fewer than 20 workers. However, 48 percent of small employers in the state are unaware of provisions in the law that benefit small businesses, the survey found.

Specifically, the poll found that 57 percent of small businesses are unfamiliar with the small business tax credits they can claim this year to offset healthcare costs, and 62 percent have not heard of health insurance exchanges, which the state is establishing to drive down insurance costs.  When provided with basic information about the exchanges, 55 percent said they would be likely to participate, and 32 percent of businesses not providing coverage said they would be more likely to offer it because of the exchanges.

"This survey shows the tremendous opportunity to further inform small business owners about the healthcare act's core benefits available to help them offer insurance," noted Beth Sirull, Executive Director of Pacific Community Ventures, a nonprofit organization committed to creating jobs in low-income communities. "Armed with this information, small businesses will play a vital role in covering great numbers of uninsured workers to buoy our economy with a healthy, productive workforce."

The results of the Pacific Community Ventures survey bolsters similar findings from a survey conducted recently by Small Business Majority, a national nonprofit small business advocacy organization that advised Pacific Community Ventures on this project. "This is an indisputable trend," said John Arensmeyer, founder and CEO of Small Business Majority. "Both a national survey we released in January and feedback we received from small business owners during our recent California Listening Tour confirms that when owners learn about the benefits for them in the law they like what they hear and say it makes them more likely to offer insurance."

Top findings from the survey include:

  • 52 percent of small businesses already offering insurance said they would be more likely to continue providing it because of the small business healthcare tax credits
  • More than one-third (35 percent) of respondents already offering insurance said the exchange makes them more likely to continue providing coverage
  • Thirty percent of respondents said the exchange is more attractive if employee choice is included
  • Forty-five percent of respondents identified as Republicans; 26 percent as Democrats; and 21 percent as Independents.
  • Respondents owned businesses in the industry and manufacturing sector (29 percent), the retail and restaurant sector (21 percent), the service sector (44 percent), and other sectors (5 percent).
  • Fifty percent of the respondents were from businesses with 2-9 employees and 50 percent were from businesses with 10-19 employees.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law March 23, 2010 and included two key provisions critical for small business. The small business tax credits allow businesses with fewer than 25 employees that have average annual wages under $50,000 to get a tax credit of up to 35 percent of their health insurance costs beginning in tax year 2010. Insurance exchanges, which go into effect in 2014, are online marketplaces where small businesses and individuals can band together to purchase insurance.

For more information on the survey results, visit


Pacific Community Ventures builds responsible small businesses to create jobs and opportunities in lower income communities. We help create quality jobs—cost-effectively—for the people who need them most. Pacific Community Ventures accomplishes this mission through two core nonprofit programs, Business Advising and Insight, and through our affiliated equity funds. To learn more, visit  


Small Business Majority is a national nonprofit organization focused on solving the biggest problems facing America's 28 million small businesses. We conduct extensive opinion and economic research and work with small business owners, policy experts and elected officials nationwide to bring nonpartisan small business voices to the public policy table.

Small Business Majority, working in partnership with chambers of commerce and other business organizations, conducted its California Listening Tour from May 2010 to January 2011 in nine cities. The Listening Tour was intended to bring small businesses together to better understand the details of the ACA and how it will affect their bottom line. The Tour revealed that when small business owners learn about the key provisions they like what they hear and want to know more.

To view Small Business Majority's California Listening Tour report visit; for the national small business opinion poll visit

Contact: Maureen Futtner
(415) 637-3280
Erin Musgrave
(831) 477-0453

SOURCE Pacific Community Ventures; Small Business Majority