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Facing a tight labor market and stubborn inflation, small business owners are recognizing that employee recruitment and retention hinge on offering comprehensive benefits. But many feel financially ill-equipped to offer them — and some don't even know where to start.

In fact, less than half of small U.S. employers currently offer benefits to employees and those that do aren't always providing the benefits employees value. A 2022 study from LIMRA, for example, revealed a wide disconnect between the value employees place on benefits and the benefits employers believe to be most important — to the tune of 28% for critical illness and 21% for cancer coverage.

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