Cut health care costs
Cut health care costs
Anton Semprivivo
General manager of Honda of Toms River, a car dealership, in Toms River, N.J.

As far as hiring and ramping up, we are certainly very cautious because of the uneven economy. We don't want to hire people and then have to lay them off.

I keep looking for more clarity on the health care benefits. Last year, our health care cost increased just shy of 30%. As a businessman, that is a huge, huge expense on our operation.

I don't want to cut my people's benefits, but I am nervous. I may need to. You have to have a lot of conversations with people when you change their health care. We want to keep people's benefits constant. When health care increased, we took the expense. We took it and minimally changed the program.

I am not cutting [health benefits]. But I am ready to make cuts if I have to.

You would begin to look at your cost per person in health care benefits and you would look to mitigate that by shifting more of the workload to some of your current staff. You could hire more people but then you would have to make the benefit program less. You ask them to do more, to become more productive. They have already stepped up and done that.

I have been hearing more about tax increases. That is scaring me. President Obama wants to increase taxes on wealthy people. These are business owners. The more money you have to pay in taxes, the less goes into your business. You watch taxes and wonder what is going to go on. You are less apt to bring people on.

I have had the blueprints for this project for two-and-a-half years. I just keep holding off until things get better. I have two plans: I have one to build a whole new building and one to increase the service department. You do that and then you have to hire technicians. I am sitting on them. -- C.C.

Last updated September 07 2011: 11:07 AM ET
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