Federal Regulations Remain the Biggest Hurdle for Many Small Firms

As part of NFIB’s effort to highlight the concerns of “main street” during small business week…from DC today we have the federal regulations hurdle..

Small businesses play a critical role in our nation’s economy, and they are being rightfully recognized as Small Business Week continues into its fourth day today. But the onslaught of new federal regulations, one of the biggest obstacles to our nation’s biggest job creators, shows no sign of letting up.


  • Small businesses pay disproportionately to comply with federal regulations. The latest research (PDF) from the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy shows average cost borne by small businesses is $10,585 per employee – 36 percent more than the compliance cost for larger firms. It shows environmental regulations are especially burdensome on small firms, costing a whopping 364 percent more for small firms than large ones.


  • More small businesses say government regulations are the top problem facing their business. In May issue of NFIB’s Small Business Economic Trends report, 20 percent of small-business owners said “government regulations and red tape” was the single most important problem facing their business last month. That issue received the greatest response, ahead of poor sales and taxes.


  • While small-business owners understand the necessity for some government regulation to ensure clean and available natural resources and safety, the flow of costly new regulations being proposed today is excessive. According to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs there are over 4,000 new federal regulations in the pipeline. Pending major regulations – those costing the economy $100 million or more – have increased 60 percent since 2005.


  • More small-business owners are calling for a more sensible regulatory process. This includes more feedback from small businesses built into the regulatory process and government enforcement that aides compliance rather than punishing with fines. NFIB is leading the coalition Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations, chaired by former Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln, to advocate for this cause.


  • NFIB is pushing for common-sense regulatory reforms in Congress. The Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act (H.R. 527) passed in the House in December and is now awaiting consideration in the Senate. It would require federal agencies to estimate the both the direct and indirect economic impact of new regulations on small firms. It would also force agencies to do periodic reviews of rules determined to have a significant impact on small businesses. The Senate should follow the House’s lead and send this bill to the President’s desk.

One of the most immediate and impactful actions that the Administration could take to help small business would be to implement sensible reforms to the regulatory process. That could give instant relief to small businesses uncertain about the looming wave of federal regulations and the punitive enforcement that is sure to follow.

Learn more: www.NFIB.com/newsroom.

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About Mike Durant

Mike Durant was named New York State Director of NFIB in May 2011. Prior to joining NFIB as the Assistant State Director in May 2010, Durant began his career in the New York Senate working in the Office of Member Services. From there, he served in a number of positions during former New York Governor George E. Pataki’s administration. As a Research Specialist in the New York State Office of Demographic Policy, Mike was responsible for drafting a redistricting proposal for Governor Pataki. In addition, Mike served as a Research Specialist for the Empire State Development Corporation, as well as the Associate Commissioner of Human Resource Management with the New York Department of Labor. Durant also spent four years working at the Questar III BOCES as a specialist focusing on the complex formulas that drive aid to school districts across the state while also taking a lead role in the state legislative/budget process as it related to education policy. These past positions have given Mike a deep understanding of the complex political economics of the State of New York. Active in the community, Durant has served on a number of boards in both the village of Ballston Spa and Town of Milton. Durant received his bachelor’s degree from Siena College in Loudonville, New York and resides in Ballston Spa with his wife and two children.
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