How will federal health care reform affect small businesses? The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce will host a panel of experts on the topic at its next Focus Friday issues session, this Friday, Aug. 24. The meeting runs from 8 to 9:30 a.m. in the Marion Conference Room at the chamber, 19900 W. Catawba Ave., Cornelius.
Kenny Colbert, president of The Employers Association, will discuss the timeline for implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was supported by President Obama. Tanya Blackmon, president of Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville, will give a health care provider’s perspective. And Tracy Baker, chief executive officer of Coventry Health Care of the Carolinas Inc. (formerly WellPath Select Inc.), will discuss how costs will shift to the consumer and how insurance companies are addressing the changes.
Bill Russell, president of the Lake Norman Chamber, says businesses are extremely interested in this topic.
“While discussion of healthcare and this particular issue has quieted down over the summer, you can expect a great deal of buzz in the weeks ahead of the November elections,” Mr. Russell said in a press release. “Businesses are still very concerned when it comes to the costs associated with healthcare reform and how it will impact hiring as owners and managers address employee benefits.”
Focus Friday is a free monthly program for Lake Norman Chamber members, and is open to the public. Focus Friday is sponsored by DavidsonNews.net and CorneliusNews.net. For more information about the briefing, see the Chamber’s website at lakenormanchamber.org.
Lake Norman Chamber website, lakenormanchamber.org
HealthCare.gov, federal governIfment web page with a timeline for implementation of the affordable care act.
N.C. EXPORTS ON THE RISE
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) announced recently new export data that shows North Carolina merchandise exports increased 5 percent in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, growing from $13.4 billion to $14 billion.
“This is great news for our state as North Carolina continues to thrive as a global economic leader,” Gov. Bev Perdue said in a press release Monday. “Nearly 350,000 jobs are supported by exports and trade with hundreds of small- and medium-sized companies in the state conducting business internationally. International exports are an important segment of North Carolina’s overall economy and this growth will aid in our recovery from the economic recession.”
According to the ITA, North Carolina’s merchandise export sales for the first half of 2012 outpaced the 2011 figures for the same period in many top destinations, including Saudi Arabia (up 60 percent), Brazil (37 percent), Mexico (20 percent), Canada (15 percent), and Belgium (14 percent). Key merchandise export categories include chemicals, machinery manufactures, transportation equipment, computer and electronic products, and textiles.