Webinar to help small businesses with new health laws

Published 12:12 pm Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Alabama small business owners must plan for the impact that changes in federal health care laws will have on their businesses. While the majority of the new taxes, mandates and administrative requirements begin in January 2014, some major provisions take effect in 2013.

A webinar scheduled on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 1 p.m. will offer practical guidance for business owners. The webinar is sponsored by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System; the National Federation of Independent Business; Constangy, Brooks, and Smith, LLP; and Jackson Thornton Certified Public Accountants. It will feature attorney Tommy Eden and certified public accountant Patti Perdue who will discuss how businesses should prepare.

Dr. Paul Brown, Extension associate director, says that the organization plans to expand its educational connection to small business owners.

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“We plan to expand our program offerings to small business owners,” Brown said in a press release. “Working with private-sector partners, Extension will provide research-based, unbiased information just as we have done in our traditional program areas for the last 100 years.”

“Small businesses on farms, on Main Street or in industrial parks are a critical part of our state’s economy, and they provide community workforce stability. Extension can provide educational opportunities directly to small business through our distance technology system. The goal is to help small businesses succeed.”

The public will be able to view the health care law webinar in several ways. First, they can watch from their home or office computer by going to www.aces.edu/events. Participants can test their browser early by going to the link and choosing any of the ACES Public Programs listed.

Also, many of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System county offices will be showing the webinar.

Individuals should contact their county office to confirm if the webinar will be shown there.

Some of the questions that will be answered in the webinar include:

•Which small business will be affected by the employer mandate?

•How do small businesses prepare for this requirement?

•What is the difference between full-time, part-time, full-time equivalent and seasonal employees?

•How do I determine whether an employee is a full- time employee?

•What new administrative functions will be required to comply with the law?

•What is required for businesses that fall below the 50-employee threshold?