Housing and health insurance remain the main challenges for small businesses [The New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester]

October 15 — The rising cost of health insurance continues to baffle small businesses, which face all kinds of challenges during the pandemic.

“We have seen increases from 22% to 28% year on year,” said Nick brattan, president of New England Document Systems in Manchester. “It cost us a lot more $ 300,000, and it’s out of our pocket. We just can’t pass that on to the employees. “

Small businesses should come together to share those costs, Brattan suggested during a panel discussion Thursday morning at his Industrial road east business. The event was hosted by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices as part of its national “Road to Recovery” tour.

Alex bellman, Owner of Bellman Jewelers, liked the idea of ​​Brattan.

“It would be the best thing if we could all, as small businesses, come together, absolutely,” he said. “100%.”

Jane moffat, Northeastern regional manager for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices, said she had heard of problems with health insurance from companies across the country.

“It puts small businesses at a disadvantage,” she said.

Health insurance costs are just one hurdle faced by business owners. Access to federal grants and loans, public procurement reform and childcare were also discussed during the roundtable.

Chris Proulx, owner of Double Midnight Comics, said he had several young employees struggling to buy a house.

“Even the apartments are crazy right now,” he said.

Brattan said 80% of his company’s 85 jobs are blue-collar workers, which can pose housing challenges.

“They are not $ 60,000 To $ 80,000 works. It’s not the IT people or the sales people, ”he said. “They need affordable housing. It’s difficult, and it’s heartbreaking to hear them sometimes: “I need to find another apartment. I need another room. I have to pay $ 2,000 a month.’ It’s heartbreaking to hear. “

Manchester Mayor Joyce craig says the city has passed close to $ 8 million towards affordable housing initiatives to increase inventory and work with private developers to ensure they build affordable units.

The city is also preparing to launch another round of grants for small businesses in the city struggling to recover from the pandemic, using money from the US bailout.

Many companies are unable to take more loans, Moffat said.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a 12-week free program launched 10 years ago. It helps entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunities by providing them with access to education, capital and business support services. Bellman, Brattan and Proulx all participated in the program. For more information or to apply, visit 10KSBapply.com.

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(c) 2021 New Hampshire union leader (Manchester, NH)

Visit the New Hampshire Union Leader (Manchester, NH) at www.unionleader.com

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