June 2013 Newsletter

2013 Legislative Wrap-Up

The 2013 South Carolina legislative session was not a great success for small businesses.

Affordable health insurance was rejected by the General Assembly. The health insurance premiums small businesses and individuals pay for family coverage will continue to be about $1000 more each year because both the House and Senate rejected efforts to use Federal money to expand Medicaid. A bill (S.145) that would also make health insurance more affordable by ending anti-competitive behavior by insurance companies was put off until next year.

Legislation (H.3425 and S.536) that would make solar energy equipment affordable for residential and commercial buildings was killed-off or stalled. And unfortunately a special interest bill (H.3369)that would possibly increase workers’ compensation insurance premiums for all businesses in order to benefit a handful advanced from the House to the Senate.

But there was some good news. Legislation (H.3125)that would direct the SC Department of Commerce to develop financial resources for microbusiness lenders crossed the hall to the Senate. A bill (H.3437) to establish a committee to take a big-picture look at all legislation that would impact small businessesadvanced from the House to the Senate.

The Legislature will pick up this two-year session starting in January.

Duke Energy’s Massive Rate Hike Proposal

The S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce is opposing Duke Energy Carolina’s proposed 15.1% average electric rate hike. By intervening in the upcoming Public Service Commission rate hearing on Duke Energy’s filing, the Small Business Chamber is a party of record and will present a witness and cross examine witnesses. This is the seventh time either the Small Business Chamber or its President, Frank Knapp, has intervened in a utility rate case but the first against Duke. For a complete review of the amazing success the Small Business Chamber and Mr. Knapp have had in dramatically reducing rate increases on small businesses to as little as 0.08%, click here.

Members Saving Money with Our Health Insurance Plan

The Small Business Chamber in partnership with Carolina Care Plan is saving our members money with our health insurance plan. Find out if our plan can make health insurance more affordable for your business by clicking here.

Listen to what our members are saying about our health insurance plan:

“Not only do we now have a plan with better benefits than our previous plan, but we also will be saving thousands of dollars in premiums during our first year,” says Bruce Fewell of Corporate Concepts in Columbia.

“I am already seeing better benefits and lower deductibles. Plus, we will save over $8,000 in premiums in the first 12 months,” says Leslie Hagan of Hagan Heating & Air Conditioning in Anderson.

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