With millions of uninsured Americans soon eligible for employer-sponsored health coverage, many small business owners fear the new law will crush their profits and make it too costly to hire new workers.
Jim Houser, owner of Hawthorne Auto Clinic in Portland, Ore., isn't one of them.
"The biggest factor in hiring is consumer demand," he said. "We recently expanded (our staff) in part because now we know what to expect with our health-care premiums."
Complying with the law's extensive red tape and forms—another major headache cited by small business owners—also hasn't proven onerous, said Houser, an ardent supporter of the law who has testified before Congress in support of it.
"You can turn it all over to your insurance agent or your broker—just like my accountant handles my taxes every year," he said "They're the ones that who are going to have to do it."
Houser, who has been offering his employees health insurance since he and his wife opened their auto repair business 30 years ago, said the new law isn't hurting his bottom line either. In fact, after nearly doubling from 2001 to 2009, his health insurance premiums began falling two years ago. And last year he got a tax credit for $12,900 to help defray those costs.
More than three years after the Affordable Care Act was enacted, employers on Tuesday face the first key deadline under the new law, when they're required to notify employees what kind of coverage, if any, they plan to offer. Companies then have until 2015 to implement those plans or face penalties if they don't offer affordable coverage to all full-time workers. That coverage mandate was supposed to take effect Jan. 1, but the administration delayed it in response to employer complaints.
(Read more: Obamacare: CNBC Explains)
When the law was passed, many small business owners initially feared it spelled financial ruin, said Gary Levy, head of the hospitality industry practice at CohnReznick, an accounting firm.