Regulatory Watch


Government regulations and red tape can be a tremendous barrier to small business growth. Small businesses' regulatory compliance costs are 36 percent higher than large businesses so it is no surprise that regulations consistently rank as a top concern for small business owners. Roughly 3,300 regulations are in the pipeline this year and many of them will affect small businesses. 

Below are regulatory proposals that have been published in the Federal Register and are open for public comment. An agency publishes an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) with a proposed rule if it expects that the rule will have a significant economic impact on substantial number of small businesses. The IRFA provides information about the potential effects of the proposed rule on small businesses.  

Agencies' initial analyses of small business impacts are not always correct or complete, so the Committee on Small Business encourages small businesses to file comments through the government's online portal,, and tell federal agencies how the regulatory proposal will affect them. If you had trouble with an agency or regulation, please feel free to share your story with the Committee.

Regulations to Watch:

2015 Revisions and Confidentiality Determinations for Data Elements Under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The EPA is proposing to amend specific provisions in the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule. This proposed rule would change reporting requirements for a variety of industries that emit greenhouse gases.  Small businesses and small governmental jurisdictions could be affected. (PUBLISHED 1-15-2016)


COMMENTS DUE 2-29-2016
Economic Development Investments for Certified Development Companies

Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA is requesting comments regarding their Certified Development Companies (CDCs) program. Specifically, the SBA is requesting comments regarding whether CDCs should be required to invest specific amounts in local economic development activities (besides CDC lending), whether CDCs should reserve specific amounts for their future operations, and what types of activities may qualify as economic development activities. Currently, there are 270 CDCs in the United States. (PUBLISHED 1-15-2016)


COMMENTS DUE 3-15-2016

Minimum Quality and Handling Standards for Domestic and Imported Peanuts Marketed in the United States; Change to the Quality and Handling Requirements
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

The USDA has issued a proposed rule to revise the minimum quality and handling standards for domestic and imported peanuts in the United States. The proposed rule would revise the minimum quality, positive lot identification, and reporting and recordkeeping requirements. The majority of peanut handlers, importers and producers are small businesses and would be affected. (PUBLISHED 1-19-2016)


COMMENTS DUE 3-21-2016
Carrier Safety Fitness Determination
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

The FMCSA has issued a proposed rule to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to revise the evaluation process for identifying unfit motor carriers. This proposed rule would increase the amount of on-road safety performance data used in the evaluation as well as eliminate the current three-tier rating system in favor of a single determination system. The agency expects that this proposed rule could affect roughly 503,000 small businesses that are commercial motor carriers, which operate buses and trucks. (PUBLISHED 1-21-2016)

IRFA - Yes

COMMENTS DUE 3-21-2016

Regulatory Resources:

The Regulatory Flexibility Act
Regulatory Agenda
Tips for Submitting Effective Comments