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:



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

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)

Plans for Periodic Review of Regulations

The NOAA and the NMFS have issued a notice that the agencies are reviewing existing rules which have had or will have a significant impact on a substantial number of small businesses, small organizations, or small governmental jurisdictions. This review is required under the Regulatory Flexibility Act and will be relevant to regulatory reviews required under Executive Order 13771, "Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs," and Executive Order 13777, "Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda." The NOAA and the NMFS are also seeking comments from the public regarding which rules are unnecessarily complex, outdated, duplicative, or overly burdensome on small entities. (PUBLISHED 6-7-2017)

IRFA- No

COMMENTS DUE 7-7-2017

Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 

Evaluation of Existing Coast Guard Regulations, Guidance Documents, Interpretative Documents, and Collections of Information

The Coast Guard is seeking comments on existing regulations, guidance documents, and interpretative documents that should be repealed, replaced, or modified. Specifically, the Coast Guard is attempting to identify regulations that eliminate jobs, are outdated, impose costs higher than benefits, or are derived from Executive Orders that have been rescinded or significantly modified. This collection of information is in response to Executive Orders 13771, Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, 13777, Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda, and 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.  (PUBLISHED 6-8-2017)

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 7-10-2017

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 

Reducing Regulatory Burdens Imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act & Improving Healthcare Choices To Empower Patients

The CMS has issued a request for public comments regarding how they can promote consumer choice, stabilize health insurance markets, enhance affordability, and affirm the authority of the states in regulating health insurance. The CMS is also interested in understanding how they can improve affordability and coverage for small businesses. This request for comment is in accordance with Executive Order 13765, "Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal.” (PUBLISHED 6-12-2017)

IRFA - NO 

COMMENTS DUE 7-12-2017

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

Department of Energy

Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

The DOE has issued a request for information on identifying existing regulations, paperwork requirements, and other regulatory obligations that can be modified or repealed. Specifically, the agency is requesting comments on how the agency can best promote regulatory cost reduction, select rules and requirements for reform, obtain objective information and data about the effect of current regulations, and other information. This request for information is in compliance with Executive Order 13771, "Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs." (PUBLISHED 5-30-2017)

IRFA - No 

COMMENTS DUE 7-14-2017


General Service Administration

Evaluation of Existing Acquisition Regulations 

The GSA has issued a request for comment on acquisition regulations, policies, standards, and practices issued by GSA across its acquisition and sales programs that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification. The agency is particularly interested in comments on areas not addressed recently, such as price adjustments, requirements related to utilities, and construction. This request for comment is in response to Executive Order 13777, "Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda." (PUBLISHED 5-30-2017) 

IRFA - No 

COMMENTS DUE 7-31-2017

General Service Administration

Evaluation of Existing Federal Management and Federal Property Management Regulations 

The GSA has issued a request for comment on federal management and federal property management regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification. Specifically, the agency is requesting comments on federal management regulations in transportation, telecommunications, administrative programs, and property. This request for comment is in response to Executive Order 13777, "Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda." (PUBLISHED 5-30-2017) 

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 7-31-2017

General Service Administration

Evaluation of Existing Leasing Acquisition Regulations

The GSA has issued a request for comment on leasing acquisition regulations, policies, standards, and practices issued by GSA across its leasing acquisition and sales programs that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification. The agency is particularly interested in comments on existing lease acquisition regulations issued by GSA. This request for comment is in response to Executive Order 13777, "Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda." (PUBLISHED 5-30-2017) 

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 7-31-2017

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 

Evaluation of Existing Regulations, Policies, and Information Collections

The FEMA has issued a request for comment to evaluate existing regulations. Specifically, the agency is attempting to identify regulations that eliminate jobs, are outdated, impose costs that exceed benefits, or interfere with regulatory reform initiatives. This request for comment is in accordance with Executive Orders 13771, "Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs," and 13777, "Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda." (PUBLISHED 6-15-2017)

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 8-14-2017

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

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

Request for Information on Potentially Reducing Regulatory Burdens Without Harming Consumers

The CPSC has issued a request for information for ways the Commission could reduce burdens and costs of its existing rules, regulations, or practices without harming consumers. Specifically, the Commission is requesting information and data that would support how modifying existing regulations would reduce costs without harming consumers. (PUBLISHED 6-16-2017)

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 9-30-2017


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