Businesses of this size account for more than 42 million jobs and employ 25% of all Americans, the release says.

"This research clearly confirms what the anecdotal stories have already conveyed. Small-business owners are already cutting full-time jobs and reducing hours for many of their employees due to the ACA," IFA President and CEO Steve Caldeira. "This research should serve as a major red flag to Congress and the administration that unless there is a statutory change to the definition of a full-time employee in the ACA, there will be fewer full-time jobs, more part-time workers and fewer overall hours available for Americans to work as business owners adjust their workforce to comply with the law."

Brands from Papa John's ( PZZA) to College Hunks Hauling Junk have expressed concern over the effects of the heath care law on their businesses.

The franchise trade association and the U.S. Chamber are working toward what they see as a solution: changing the definition of full-time employees under the health care law to 40 hours a week from 30 hours a week.

The two organizations support bipartisan legislation introduced by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) titled the Forty Hours is Full-Time Act of 2013, which would change the definition of "full-time" in the law to 40 hours per week and the number of hours counted toward a "full-time equivalent" employee to 174 hours per month as well as other sponsored House bills with similar goals. The Web site fortyhoursisfulltime.com was created to generate support for the bills.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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