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:

Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Federal Acquisition Regulations: Public Disclosure of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Reduction Goals-Representation

DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to create an option for vendors to indicate whether they publicly disclose greenhouse gas emissions and greenhouse gas reduction goals or targets. This disclosure would be mandatory only for vendors who received $7.5 million or more in federal contract awards in the preceding federal fiscal year. This proposed rule is expected to affect 2,700 small businesses based on the contracting data from FY 2015. (PUBLISHED 5-25-2016)

IFRA - Yes

COMMENTS DUE 7-25-2016

Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Federal Acquisition Regulation: Acquisition Threshold for Special Emergency Procurement Authority

DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to increase the simplified acquisition threshold for special emergency procurement authority from $300,000 to $750,000 domestically and from $1 million to $1.5 million abroad. Of the 219 special emergency procurements awarded in FY 2015, 66 or 30 percent were granted to small businesses. (PUBLISHED 6-20-2016)


COMMENTS DUE 8-19-2016

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
Community Development Revolving Loan Fund

The NCUA Board has issued a proposed rule to make several technical amendments to the NCUA's rule governing the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund. Specifically, the NCUA is proposing to clarify that it "encourages" rather than "mandates" credit unions to report technical assistance grant data to members.  In March of 2016, there were an estimated 6,078 credit unions in the United States, the majority of which are considered small entities. (PUBLISHED 6-21-2016)


COMMENTS DUE 8-22-2016
Department of Defense (DoD)
Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS): Contract Financing

DoD is proposing to revise the DFARS regarding the use of customary contract financing on fixed-price contracts that are scheduled to last more than one year. For the purposes of the proposed rule, customary contract financing does not include loan guarantees or advance payments.  Small defense contractors could be affected. (PUBLISHED 6-30-2016)


COMMENTS DUE 8-29-2016
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Amendments to Smaller Reporting Company Definition

The SEC has issued a proposed rule to amend the definition of a "smaller reporting company" to cover more registrants.  Under the proposed rule, the threshold for registrants with public floats would increase from $75 million to $250 million and the threshold for registrants with zero public floats would increase from $50 to $100 million in annual revenues. The agency expects that there would be a reduction in compliance costs for those registrants that would newly qualify for smaller reporting company status. (Published 7-1-2016)


COMMENTS DUE 8-30-2016

Regulatory Resources:

The Regulatory Flexibility Act
Regulatory Agenda
Tips for Submitting Effective Comments