06/11/2014 12:00 am ET Updated Jun 12, 2014

How Big Laws Are Affecting Small Businesses

Against a backdrop of health care mandates, changes in minimum wage and other laws affecting the nation's workforce, how are small businesses faring? HuffPost Live sat down with a labor commissioner and a business owner to discuss the effects that changing federal laws have had on the small business sector.

In his conversation with HuffPost Live's Marc Lamont Hill, Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian echoed what we've heard from our government time and again: small businesses form the "backbone of the economy" in America, and by investing in business owners, we benefit the country at large.

"What I hear from [small business owners] is: invest in your public schools, invest in your apprenticeship and training programs, give us a good, skilled workforce so we can go out there and compete," said Avakian.

Jonathan Franks, managing partner at Lucid PR, agreed that just as the government should invest in business, so too should a business invest in its workforce.

He noted that the recent changes in Washington have little to do with his day-to-day operation, as his business has been offering health care and benefits to its employees "since day one."

"In reality, I’m not so sure that their effect is that entirely profound," said Franks. "I’m not buying that the mandates and Affordable Care Act -- which, by the way, don’t apply to true small businesses -– are that big of a deal."

The segment, which aired June 2, was presented by Wells Fargo.

Watch the full HuffPost Live segment on small businesses and federal laws below: