Lucas Group SMB Survey Reveals Impact of Federal Policy on Businesses

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Small and mid-sized business leaders concerned about bipartisanship, the Affordable Care Act

Lucas Group Executive Recruiting Firm

Lucas Group

Our survey provides a snapshot each quarter of the challenges faced by small and mid-sized businesses—the drivers of the U.S. economy.

Federal policy has a profound impact on small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), according to survey results from Lucas Group, North America’s premier executive search firm. In the firm’s Q3 SMB Job Generation Outlook, small and mid-sized leaders showed concern about how the weight of Washington --especially the Affordable Care Act--will affect their businesses.

The quarterly report surveys 100 SMB presidents, CEOs and business owners from across the country on their current and future growth and hiring plans. The third quarter survey revealed that SMB leaders see Washington as a big influence on their businesses.

When asked what level of government had the most impact, 54 percent of respondents ranked the federal government first above state and local government.

“Our survey provides a snapshot each quarter of the challenges faced by small and mid-sized businesses—the drivers of the U.S. economy,” said Scott Smith, Chief Marketing Officer at Lucas Group. “In the third quarter, SMB leaders were concerned about the impact the Affordable Care Act would have on their businesses, yet interestingly, only 29 percent said they felt prepared for the new rules.”

SMB leaders were asked to rank which issues presented the biggest challenges for their companies in 2013. Respondents ranked health care costs first above talent availability, domestic and international competition, uncertainty in tax policy and environmental regulations.

Seventy percent of respondents expected to see some impact or a large impact on their businesses from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Even so, response levels indicated they weren’t doing much to prepare.

Respondents also showed a lack of confidence in the ability of Republicans and Democrats to work together. Sixty-nine percent said they were somewhat or very pessimistic about bipartisanship in the federal government.

The SMB Job Generation Outlook is produced quarterly to provide a look at hiring and economic trends among the nation’s small and mid-sized businesses. The third national survey from Lucas Group was conducted in coordination with Polaris Marketing Research and Dr. Goutam Challagalla, Associate Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology College of Business.

Earlier this month, Lucas Group revealed that SMB leaders were feeling more optimistic about their own company growth than growth of the overall economy. This and other economic and employment insights were uncovered in the Q3 SMB Job Generation Outlook. For the full report, click here.

About the Survey
Conducted quarterly, the SMB Job Generation Outlook is a national survey of SMB top business leaders. The Q3 survey was conducted by Polaris Market Research on behalf of Lucas Group from Oct. 1-Oct. 11, 2013. Each of the 100 respondents was a CEO, president and/or owner of their company. The survey covered a wide variety of industries with manufacturing, finance/insurance/real estate and business services having the strongest presence. Forty-six percent of the respondents reported annual revenue in the $50 to $150 million range. The majority of respondents (58 percent) are from private companies; 19 percent are family-owned; 16 percent are public; and 7 percent are owned by private equity.

About Lucas Group
Lucas Group is North America’s premier executive search firm. Since 1970, our culture and methodologies have driven superior results. We assist clients ranging in size from small to medium-sized businesses to Fortune 500 companies find transcendent, executive talent; candidates fully realize their ambitions; and associates find professional success. To learn more, please visit Lucas Group at and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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Tami McQueen
Lucas Group
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