Small business owners are taking a close look at what the Supreme Court ruling on the health care law means for them.
The employer mandate is getting a lot of attention in the business community, with many people asking what it will mean for the economy and small business profitability.
At the Club at Morgan Hill in Easton, small business owners enjoyed a day of golf.
While everyone had their minds on the game, the buzz on the green was the Supreme Court ruling on health care.
"This economy is hanging by a thread, marching forward at a slow pace and we don't need anything else to impede," said Tony Iannelli, president and CEO of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The employer mandate has many wondering exactly how much it will cost the business community.
The mandate requires businesses with more than 50 workers to offer health care insurance or pay a tax penalty of $2,000 to $3,000 per employee.
"I'm a little concerned, being a small business owner. First of all, to learn about the ruling and the implications it's going to have on us and the taxation," said Bill Regan, with Stots & Fatzinger of Easton.
"I think typically when compassion doesn't come from the heart, it comes from some government mandate, we are in trouble," said Kline Ashton, of Ashton Funeral Home.
The Hotel Bethlehem has 180 employees. Dennis Costello, the general manager, said the ruling will have a negative impact on business.
"It's going to give our competitors a distinct advantage," said Costello.
While the hotel has a rich history and elegant interior, Costello said many of his competitors have less than the required 50 employees.
"They don't have to abide by any of this, whereas we have to follow the letter of this law that is 2,000 pages or something," said Costello.
It may take a while to sort through all of the rules and regulations for the health care bill, but some businesses are already talking about how paying the penalty may be cheaper than actually offering insurance. A lot of businesses are worried they just won't be able to afford it.