A newly released Gallup poll today confirms that burdensome federal regulations continue to prevent small businesses from hiring, and limit growth in the economy. Nearly half of small business owners, 46 percent, point to federal regulations as a reason for not hiring new workers, and one in four are not hiring for fear of being out of business within a year.
Despite the Administration’s claims it has limited the number and impact of new rules, the study’s findings indicate that not much has changed since last fall. In October, a report by the same group found that compliance with government regulations was the biggest issue facing small businesses.
Less than 15 percent of the small business owners surveyed have plans to hire, and, of those who have hired within the last year, one out of three hired fewer employees than they needed. That indicates that the small business community, which creates about two-thirds of new jobs annually, is not fully contributing to growth in the economy.
Increasing government regulations exacerbate pressures small businesses feel from the downturned economy. The slew of new regulations creates uncertainty of what to expect, and adds even more demands for business owners to keep up with. To provide relief, lawmakers should put a halt on all new regulations, incentivizing small businesses to hire the workers they need, thereby creating jobs and generating economic recovery.
Restoring balance to the regulatory system doesn’t require drastic overhauls, but instead hinges on standardizing sensible measures that illuminate the rulemaking process and give the public, particularly small businesses, a greater voice. Requiring a full cost-benefit analysis of all regulations, ensuring rules are based off of validated science and hard data, asking agencies to help business comply with rules instead of issuing penalties for first violations, and encouraging greater public participation will help balance the system and create more effective regulations at a smaller cost.
We all want to see the small business community succeed. When they do well, all of us around them benefit. If the President is serious about revitalizing the economy he should live up to the promises he made to rein in regulation and give the small business community a break.