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Two Thirds of Small Business Owners Believe U.S. Government’s Policies are Unfavorable to Small Businesses

  • Small Business Confidence Survey shows more than half of small business owners anticipate legislation hindering small businesses will get worse in 2014

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. – June 26, 2014 – TriNet (NYSE: TNET), a leading cloud-based provider of HR services, today announced results of its Small Business Confidence Survey. The survey explores the opinions of U.S. small business owners in regard to issues such as their outlook on the state of their companies and on federal and state legislation. According to the survey, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of TriNet, 67% of small business owners believe that the U.S. Government’s policies are unfavorable toward small businesses, with 32% rating them very unfavorable. This survey was conducted online within the United States between January 20-30, 2014 among 206 U.S. owners of small businesses with 10-49 employees.

In addition to this concern surrounding legislation, the survey also found that:

  • Majorities of small business owners believe that legislation hampering small businesses (56%), as well as the overall economic health of the United States (53%) will both get worse in 2014.
  • More specifically, 76% of small business owners strongly agree that the amount of federal government regulations regarding employee benefits is restrictive to the growth of small business and 75% feel the same about state government regulations.
  • On the contrary, only one-third (33%) of those surveyed consider U.S. Government policies to be favorable toward small businesses.
  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is of major concern to some owners of small businesses. Nearly 8 in 10 (77%) consider themselves familiar with the ACA. More specifically in terms of impact, 52% feel that the effect of the ACA on their business has been neither better nor worse than expected, whereas 35% said that it has been worse than expected.

The cost of complying with these regulations may be what is driving small business owner concerns about government regulations. According to a report released by the Heritage Foundation, the cost of federal regulations to businesses rose by $70 billion between 2009-2013. At the end of 2012, the number of federal regulations affecting small companies was 13% higher than at the end of 2008. In a report for the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the per-employee cost of federal regulatory compliance was $10,585 for businesses with 19 or fewer employees, but only $7,755 for companies with 500 or more. Therefore, according to those numbers, small businesses face a larger per-employee cost for complying with government regulations than big companies.

Supporting Quote

Burton Goldfield, President and CEO, TriNet

“Complying with government regulations can be a complex issue for small businesses. Irrespective of good intentions, the changes ushered in by the Affordable Care Act have made it even more challenging for companies to stay compliant. TriNet is committed to supporting small businesses and I strongly believe our solutions can help owners stay in line with government policies so they have more time to spend growing their business.”

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The Harris Poll survey was conducted online within the United States on behalf of Horn Group and their client TriNet between January 20-30, 2014 among 206 U.S. owners of small businesses with 10-49 employees. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Michelle Sieling at or 415-905-4013.


About TriNet

TriNet (NYSE: TNET) is a leading provider of a comprehensive human resources solution for small to medium-sized businesses, or SMBs. We enhance business productivity by enabling our clients to outsource their human resources, or HR, function to one strategic partner and allowing them to focus on operating and growing their core businesses. Our HR solution includes services such as payroll processing, human capital consulting, employment law compliance and employee benefits, including health insurance, retirement plans and workers compensation insurance. Our services are delivered by our expert team of HR professionals and enabled by our proprietary, cloud-based technology platform, which allows our clients and their employees to efficiently conduct their HR transactions anytime and anywhere. For more information, please visit


Media Contacts:

Jock Breitwieser                            Michelle Sieling

TriNet                                               Horn Group

(510) 875-7250                              (415) 905-4013


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