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Utah businesses look at what Affordable Care Act means to their bottom line

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - While U.S. lawmakers fight over funding the government, business owners here in Utah are working hard to understand what the Affordable Care Act will mean for their bottom line.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - While U.S. lawmakers fight over funding the government, business owners here in Utah are working hard to understand what the Affordable Care Act will mean for their bottom line.

Aside from making great burgers Apollo Burgers and its 12 Utah restaurants employ dozens of part-time and full-time workers. Michael Ziouras owns the company his father started 30 years ago. He says the old way of doing business is likely obsolete.

Ziouras told ABC 4 Utah, "Right now were spending a lot of our time just trying to get ready for it and thinking through ideas as to how to make it work for us and our team members."

He's got some time to figure it all out. Two months ago the Obama administration rolled back the penalty date for business owners who employee more than 50 people.

The Utah Health Policy project says while the mandate is in place now penalties won't start till 2015

Jason Stevenson with the Utah Health Policy Project said, "Employers and HR managers are running the numbers trying to figure out, ‘well how many employees do we actually have? How many do we need to provide insurance for under the new rules?’"

For Apollo Burgers it's about 80 team members.

“We think right now it's going to cost up to {for each employee} probably about $4,000 a year,” said Ziouras. “And for our 83 employees currently entitled to it that would put significant pressure on our margins."

That means increasing prices or getting creative, and Apollo Burgers is thinking outside the box with a possible solution that would mean collaborating with other business owners to provide their newly part-time employees full time work.

"We would be able to provide employment for a team member up to full-time status and yet still partner with another company so that they would also provide up to 30 hours this way it would help keep our prices, our value there for our guests while at the same time making sure our team members are fully employed,” said Ziouras.
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