This report compiles findings from focus groups and roundtable discussions with rural small business owners and other small business stakeholders in four states, as well as the results of a national poll of rural small business owners. The report also features recommendations for policymakers and service providers to increase opportunities for rural entrepreneurs.
When the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010, it delivered sweeping reform to the nation’s healthcare system. A significant feature of the law is an expansion of Medicaid to cover a larger number of low-income individuals. In June 2012, the Supreme Court ruled it was up to each state to decide whether to expand eligibility for Medicaid. Medicaid expansion gives every state the opportunity to take advantage of federal funding that will support jobs and stimulate economic growth while expanding health coverage.
New scientific polling in Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi and New Mexico shows small business hiring of lower-level employees is diverse, but more can be done to increase diversity in the hiring of upper-management employees. Additionally, some small employers plan to hire or promote in order to increase the diversity of their high-level workforce within the next few years.
Many small business owners think of their employees as family, and they believe in taking care of their employees in order to retain a happy and loyal workforce and to attract top talent. They also know it’s important for their employees to be able to balance their work and family responsibilities. New scientific polling shows the majority of small businesses in Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi and New Mexico offer benefits like paid leave and provide family-friendly policies for their employees.