Regulatory Watch


Background

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, Regulations.gov, 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:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

TSCA Reporting and Record keeping Requirements; Standards for Small Manufacturers and Processors; Reopening of Comment Period

The EPA has reopened the period for public comment on whether the size standards for small manufacturers and processors used for the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) reporting regulations need to be revised. Currently, a manufacturer or importer is considered small if its annual sales are less than $40 million and it produces less than 100,000 pounds of any substance in a year. A manufacturer or importer can also be considered small if it has less than $4 million in annual sales when combined with its parent company. Businesses that meet the size standard are exempt from reporting under section 8(a) of the TSCA. (COMMENT PERIOD REOPENING PUBLISHED 5-9-2017; ORIGINAL NOTICE PUBLISHED 12-15-2016)

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 5-24-2017

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 

Draft Guidance for Reporting of Chemical Substances When Manufactured or Processed as Nanoscale Materials; Notice of Availability and Request for Comment

The EPA has issued a request for public comment for a rule that would impose recordkeeping requirements on businesses that manufacture chemical substances processed at the nanoscale. The EPA has published a draft guidance document for the rule and extended the effective date from May 12, 2017 to August 14, 2017. Specifically, this rule would require manufacturers to report specific chemical identity, production volume, methods of manufacturing, exposure information, and other information. This rule, when implemented, is expected to affect up to 411 small businesses in industries such as chemical manufacturing, dye and pigment manufacturing, semiconductor manufacturing, and other industries through a one time report of information. (DRAFT GUIDANCE PUBLISHED 5-16-2017; DELAY OF EFFECTIVE DATE PUBLISHED 5-12-2017; ORIGINAL FINAL RULE PUBLISHED 1-12-2017)

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 6-15-2017

Small Business Administration (SBA) 

Small Business Size Standards; Adoption of 2017 North American Industry Classification System for Size Standards

The SBA has issued a proposed rule to amend its small business size regulations to incorporate the Office of Management and Budget and the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) revision for 2017.  The revision creates 21 new industries by reclassifying, combining, or splitting 29 existing industries from the 2012 NAICS table as well as a modification in the size standard threshold or size standard measure for certain industries. Affected industries include petroleum and gas extraction, online shopping, and biotechnology research and development.  The agency proposes to adopt the updated table on October 1, 2017. (PUBLISHED 4-18-2017)

IRFA- Yes 

COMMENTS DUE 6-19-2017

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Food Labeling; Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments; Extension of Compliance Date; Request for Comments

The FDA has issued an interim final rule to extend the compliance date for the final rule requiring the disclosure of nutrition information for menu items in restaurants and food establishments from May 5, 2017 to May 7, 2018. By extending the implementation date, the agency hopes to further understand the impact of the rule, and address concerns about the rule and the rule's implementation. By delaying the implementation date, the agency expects to reduce costs on affected businesses by between $5 to $19 million. (PUBLISHED 5-4-2017)

IRFA - Yes 

COMMENTS DUE 7-3-2017

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau)

Request for Information Regarding the Small Business Lending Market 

The CFPB has issued a request for information about the small business lending market. Specifically, the Bureau is seeking comments regarding definitions of small business used by lenders, data that financial institutions must submit to the Bureau, financial institutions engaged in small business lending, access to credit for small businesses, and privacy concerns for borrowers. The CFPB has issued this request for comment to assist with the implementation of Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act through a rulemaking, which would require financial institutions to report data on credit applications made by small businesses. (PUBLISHED 5-15-2017)

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 7-14-2017

Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Reducing Regulatory Burden; Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda Under Executive Order 13777

HUD has issued a request for comment to assess its existing regulations. Specifically, the agency is requesting comments regarding regulations that eliminate jobs, are outdated, impose costs that are higher than benefits, or interfere with regulatory reform initiatives. This request for comment is in accordance with Executive Orders 13771 and 13777. (PUBLISHED 5-15-2017)

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 7-14-2017

Farm Credit Administration

Statement on Regulatory Burden

The FCA has issued a request for comment to review the agency's regulations. Specifically, the agency requests comments on regulations that are duplicative, ineffective, not based on law, or impose burdens that are greater than the benefits received. This request for comment is in accordance with Executive Orders 13771 and 13777. (PUBLISHED 5-18-2017)

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 8-16-2017

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) 

Project KISS ("Keep It Simple Stupid")

The CFTC has issued a request for comment on how the Commission's existing rules could be applied in a simpler, less burdensome, and less costly manner. Although the CFTC is an independent agency, and is not bound to Executive Order 13777, the CFTC is nevertheless commencing a review of its existing regulations. (PUBLISHED 5-9-2017)

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 9-30-2017

Regulatory Resources:
The Regulatory Flexibility Act
Regulatory Agenda
Tips for Submitting Effective Comments