January 2011 may have been one of the worst times to open a new benefits brokerage catering to small business clients. For sure, it was one of the most uncertain. The ultimately futile effort in Congress by a newly elected Republican majority to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act was in full swing. At the same time, the economy was struggling to recover from the Great Recession, as many a soothsayer predicted the demise of the independent brokerage.

Still, John Seltzer was confident. With nearly a quarter century in the business under his belt, he knew it wasn’t time to abandon ship. So, having left a financial services firm where he started a benefits practice in 1987, Seltzer set out on his own and founded J. Seltzer Associates.

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