Today, the President is in Cleveland, OH, to outline what is expected to be his most detailed economic plan since hitting the campaign trail. Following his comments last week that “the private sector is doing just fine” small business owners will be looking for reassurances that the President is still on their side, and they expect concrete plans of how he’ll rein in the regulatory process. More than ever, small businesses are feeling like they are targets rather than partners of federal regulators, and numerous studies show the economy reflects their concerns.
The President’s appearance today provides an opportunity for him demonstrate his support for the drivers of our economy. Ohio is home to a great number of successful small companies that support many good-paying jobs for hard-working people. Across the nation, it’s these small businesses that create nearly two-thirds of new jobs and produce about half the US GDP. But like their counterparts throughout the US, Ohio small businesses are struggling with the increasing pace that complex new rules and regulations are being put in their way.
Instead of helping them operate more effectively, the growing wave of new regulations is restricting small businesses’ ability to contribute to the economy. A Gallup poll earlier this year found the 85 percent of small business owners had no plans to hire and nearly half cited regulations as the reason why. Similarly, a Harvard Business School study, which surveyed about 10,000 alumni, revealed a majority of respondents believed that tax and regulatory burdens were the biggest threat to US competitiveness.
By working with small businesses, regulators could more effectively meet our regulatory objectives and impose few costs on the public. There are many practical ways for them to do so, including soliciting more input from small business owners, standardizing scientific practices across agencies, and proposed regulations to independent review to ensure that the full costs are being considered.
The President has articulated a number of insightful ways to stimulate growth in the economy, but long-term recovery is dependent upon the health of the small business community. Hopefully, today the President will express specific plans to help them get back on their feet.