Here is what small business owners have told the Committee at hearings and through the Committee’s interactive website “Small Biz Open Mic” about the impact of federal regulations on their companies.
In our small community in rural Upstate NY, my company employs just fewer than 50 employees. I can tell you that government is not making it easy to conduct, stay in and have any profit in business. First, the regulations are such that you cannot understand and comply with them without hiring competent and expensive accountants and attorneys. Small companies don't have HR or legal divisions to navigate the immense and complicated government arena, i.e. Taxes, Health Care, Employment Regulations, Prevailing Wage Annualization, etc, etc. The complex regulations and aggressive and assertive regulators do nothing to enhance a working climate. Intimidation seems to be the mode. Again, large corporations have dedicated personnel assigned just to deal with such. I encourage all efforts to reform and reduce regulations on small businesses.
Mary Rommel (Poland, NY), Rommel Holding, Inc, March, 2013
Our company is looking at reducing its workforce in order to remain viable. Regulatory change is happening at a faster and faster pace and its effect on small businesses- the engine of our economy is stifling. My advice to Congress is to cut the regulatory and tax burdens and free the American entrepreneurs in all of us.
Jeff Edwards (Chesterfield, MO), AvSafe, LLC, March, 2013
We do not have the resources to fight regulations and many times have to succumb to over aggressive agencies and officials. Often spending dollars for things we do not have to comply with, but is less expensive just to do what they want than to fight it. We are certainly being over regulated and I believe there is a feeling in big government they can tax and regulate us more because we cannot afford to fight back. Placing undue burdens on small business will only force us to give up then all our employees will be the governments problem.
Gary Bergeron (Bolton, CT), Connecticut Trailers, Inc, March, 2013
Small businesses are constrained at every level under the current highly regulated business environment. We have found we are now facing a 20% increase in workman's compensation and liability costs making it virtually impossible for a smaller business to hire employees and expand. This is why the economy continues to remain stalled.
Kelli Waxman (Phoenix, AZ), National Security Consulting & Investigations PLLC, August, 2013
To say that excessive government regulations are unfairly applied to small, innovative, cutting edge businesses, and are effectively killing entrepreneurship and innovation in this country would be a gross understatement. Expecting us to deal with dozens of licenses, rules, regulations, and bureaucracies, and their conflicting policies makes it impossible to be profitable and successful as a very innovative, but very small, start-up business. We truly are the poster child for how government is inadvertently killing small businesses.
Becky Davis (Goleta, CA) Custom Cartridge, Inc., May, 2013
Recently, our financial institution notified us that it would no longer maintain our accounts effective June 17, 2013 citing unacceptable risk detailed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency rule, OCC 2001-47. This action points up the contradictory nature of competing Federal agencies designing laws with no regard to the adverse effects on consumers who number in the thousands, if not millions. If a replacement institution cannot be found in the time allotted, our company will be forced by this regulatory conflict to cease operations leading to certain consumer harm. It would seem that the zeal with which Federal regulatory agencies write law must be tempered to avoid these sorts of consequences.
Steve Stratford (Lake Havasu City, AZ) Secure Account Service, LLC May, 2013
After eight years of building my business and finally getting a leg up, in spite of increased taxes and new regulatory fees, I understand that my Broker Bond will be increased 750% in October, 2013. We (the honest, hard working, backbone of this country) get penalized for everyone else's dishonesty. Rather than our government dealing with the crooks, they throw a blanket regulation and put us, honest people, out of business which gives the crooks less competition.
C. A. Freeman (Moore, OK), C Auto Transport, Inc, May, 2013
As a small business owner in this business environment I have found myself trying to answer a difficult question. When you can forecast with some certainty that the increased cost of taxes and compliance with ever increasing regulation will break your business, do you close the doors now and take home your operation capitol or wait unti you are broke and close with nothing? I have eight employees and have a middle class payroll. We make prosthetics and have been rehabilitating people for thirteen years.
Dave King (Reno, NV), Orthopro, March, 2013
My wife and I founded and have operated Little Colorado, Inc., a juvenile products manufacturing company, for 25 years. We currently have 35 employees that are hourly blue collar and 4 salaried management. We operate on very low margins since the majority of our competition are Asian imports. Due to the overwhelming regulatory and compliance expenses from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, the EEOC, OSHA and others our cost of manufacturing is much higher than it should be. It seems that we are always considered guilty until we prove our innocence, sometimes at great expense. In addition, we will never allow our business grow to the 50 employee level to avoid the additional expense of Obamacare.
Dick Shaw (Denver, CO), Little Colorado, Inc., January, 2013
Carl Harris, Vice President of Carl Harris Co., Inc. in Wichita, KS during a Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations hearing: Regulating the Regulators – Reducing Burdens on Small Business, March 14, 2013
"While the original Congressional intent and subsequent additions/enhancements to the Regulatory Flexibility Act are to be lauded, the reality is that far too often agencies either view compliance with the Act as little more than a procedural ‘check‐the‐box’ exercise or they artfully avoid compliance by other means. Agencies should seek to partner with small entities to help create more efficient, more effective regulations and, in so doing, reduce the compliance costs for small businesses."
Marc D. Freedman, Executive Director of Labor Law Policy at the United States Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC during a Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations hearing titled Regulating the Regulators – Reducing Burdens on Small Business, March 14, 2013
"The Regulatory Flexibility Act and the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act exist to help agencies improve their rulemakings, not to impede them. If agencies welcomed the input of small businesses as a source of real world understanding these regulations would likely be more narrowly tailored without sacrificing the agency mission or regulatory objective."
David Merrick, President of Merrick Design and Build Inc. in Kensington, MD, during a full Committee hearing titled Regulatory Flexibility Act Compliance: Is EPA Failing Small Businesses?, June 27, 2012:
“NARI supported legislation this Committee approved last year (H.R. 527). I hope that that legislation, and oversight by this and other committees in Congress, impress upon EPA that small business input may be more important than meeting a court deadline.”
Bill Squires, Senior Vice President of the Blackfoot Telecommunications Group in Missoula, MT, during a full Committee hearing titled Reducing Federal Agency Overreach: Modernizing the Regulatory Flexibility Act, March 30, 2011:
"Routinely all we are afforded is a couple of paragraphs tacked onto the end of a rulemaking that states that alternative regulation was considered, but rejected. This is all the effort we see given to this requirement. The [RFA] simply does not seem to compel anything more than a nod to the fact that it exists."
Recognizing the importance of entrepreneurs’ feedback in the process of shaping the very policies that will help determine their business sustainability and growth, Chairman Graves launched Small Biz Open Mic in September of 2011.