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2014 Business Outlook: Modest improvement amidst a cloud of frustration

McDonald Hopkins issues survey findings

CLEVELAND, Jan. 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- There is considerable caution and uncertainty about the business outlook in the months ahead, based on the results of the fourth annual McDonald Hopkins Business Outlook Survey. Although 63 percent of the business owners and executives anticipate modest improvements in U.S. business conditions compared to 51 percent last year, they have numerous concerns about important business issues, including rising health care costs and burdensome regulations.

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Sixty-seven percent of respondents believe the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have a negative impact on their company's bottom line this year and only nine percent expect the ACA to have a positive impact. As one respondent wrote, "The ACA will continue to create uncertainty, which will limit expansion and hiring."

Health care providers voiced strong concerns as well, especially about issues related to reimbursement, collections and increasing costs.  For example, respondents said: "There will be significant upheaval in the healthcare market the next several years," and "The Affordable Care Act will severely restrict reimbursement and cut our revenue."

Just 33 percent of the survey respondents are cautiously optimistic and half of them feel neutral when asked about business conditions since Congress agreed to the budget for fiscal years 2014-2015.  There is slightly more positive thinking concerning the looming debt ceiling deadline on February 7, 2014 as 47 percent are cautiously optimistic that Congress will agree to increase the debt ceiling on time, although 22 percent are pessimistic.  As one hopeful respondent noted, "If Congress gets the debt ceiling addressed on time, I believe that business owners will be more likely to invest and grow their companies."

"Once again a significant number of respondents took the time to provide comments about issues impacting their companies, such as concerns about health care, cumbersome government regulations and a general uncertainty about the business environment this year," said Carl J. Grassi, president of McDonald Hopkins

The 12-question Business Outlook Survey was conducted with more than 400 clients and business professionals throughout the month of January 2014.  Respondents rated their thoughts on the business outlook including attracting talent, capital investment, employee hiring, domestic vs. international growth, and the overall business outlook at their organizations. For a complete copy of the report, click here or visit http://www.mcdonaldhopkins.com/alerts/2014-business-outlook-survey-results

About McDonald Hopkins
McDonald Hopkins is a business advisory and advocacy law firm with offices in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Miami, and West Palm Beach.  McDonald Hopkins has a Washington, D.C.-based subsidiary, McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies LLC, led by former Congressman Steven LaTourette.  For more information about McDonald Hopkins, visit www.mcdonaldhopkins.com

CONTACT:
Deborah W. Kelm
McDonald Hopkins LLC
600 Superior Avenue, East, Suite 2100
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Phone: 216.348.5733
Email: dkelm@mcdonaldhopkins.com

SOURCE McDonald Hopkins

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