NFIB Research: The Top 10 Small Business Issues

Date: February 08, 2017

Health insurance, taxes, and regulations remain top issues for small businesses.

Every four years, NFIB releases its Small Business Problems & Priorities report, detailing the top concerns for small business owners. Results from 2016’s report aren’t surprising: The culprits that have plagued owners for years continue to do so.

“Small business owners are frustrated by the problems that the federal government creates,” says Juanita Duggan, NFIB’s president and CEO. “All of the top problems for small businesses relate directly to excessive federal regulation and taxation.”

Here are the top 10 issues facing small business, according to NFIB’s 2016 Small Business Problems & Priorities report: 

1. The cost of health insurance (the No. 1 problem since 1986)

2. Unreasonable government regulations

3. Federal taxes on business income

4. Uncertainty over economic conditions

5. Tax complexity

6. Uncertainty over government actions

7. Frequent changes in federal tax laws and rules

8. Property taxes (real, inventory, or personal property)

9. State taxes on business income

10. Locating qualified employees

Download the full Problems & Priorities report for more information and to see breakdowns by industry.


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Health Insurance: Seeing Double

Rising health insurance costs have been owners’ No. 1 problem since 1986. It doesn’t hurt just owners: Businesses that offer insurance coverage to employees declined from 39 percent in 2010 to 29 percent today. Without significant changes, it’s likely that the 2020 Problems & Priorities report will see a repeat of this issue atop the list.

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