Fiscal cliff no problem — Greater Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce fears new health care rules
As they prepare to face a new year, with new challenges both from Washington, D.C. and local consumers coming at them, members of the Greater Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce listen Tuesday to the start-of-2013 presentation from Steve McNellis, director of community development for the village of Lincolnshire. (Ronnie Wachter~Sun-Times Media)
Updated: March 11, 2013 2:19AM
LINCOLNSHIRE — Local business leaders said they have been a little surprised at how gentle the fall off the “fiscal cliff” turned out to be for most of the area’s proprietors.
Ida Butler, executive director of the Greater Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, said she had not been contacted by owners looking for explanations of, or help for dealing with, the package federal authorities put together at the start of the year.
“No one has asked for anything or even talked about it, oddly enough,” Butler said.
Buffalo Grove Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Lynne Schneider said she had heard only one worry from her membership: All the incoming red tape and documentation that managers will soon have todeal with will hurt bottom lines.
“That’s a lot more work for the businesses owners, getting all that settled again,” Schnneider said. “That’s what kills business owners is the paperwork. They want to get out there and work for their businesses, and they get killed by the red tape.”
Schneider said that what her proprietors have expressed worry about in the new year is the cost of providing health care. Some of Buffalo Grove’s small businesses are hiring again, but only for part-time positions. Anything more than 34 hours per week will bring benefits into the equation that owners believe they cannot afford to work with.
“There’s more apprehension about health care than the fiscal cliff stuff,” Schneider said. “We’ve got to live with it. You’ll find a way to get around it, and the way to get around it is to cut people and have only part-time people.”
Lincolnshire’s membership sat down on Tuesday afternoon with Steve McNellis, the village’s community development director, for his annual presentation about what they should expect in the new year. Butler said last week that what owners hoped to hear about, from every level of government, was more consumers coming to their area, and their web sites.
“People just want customers,” Butler said. “New business.”