A project of the National Federation of Independent Business, Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations is a national effort focused on protecting small businesses and American jobs from the impacts of regulations recently proposed by the Obama administration.
Today, thousands of new, costly federal regulations – environmental, labor, and others – are in the pipeline in Washington, DC, and if implemented, they will collectively touch nearly every aspect of the American economy. According to a recent CNS News report, over a 90 day period, the administration has posted 6,125 regulations and notices – an average of 68 a day. This astounding rate of new federal regulations does little to soften small business owners’ fears about the future – and in fact just makes the uncertainty of the next year worse.
Regulations can be expensive and overwhelming for small businesses. Washington’s complex regulatory maze results in a per-employee regulatory cost to a small firm that is nearly 36 percent more than the cost to large firms. In addition, businesses currently waste precious hours completing page after page of federal forms, some of which are duplicative and burdensome. (Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, The Impact of Regulatory Costs on Small Firms, Sept. 2010)
Over the past five years, the number of major regulations proposed – having an impact of $100 million or more on the economy – has increased by more than 60 percent. (Federal Regulation: A Review of Legislative Proposals, Part I, Senator Rob Portman, June 23, 2011, page 2.)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for example, has more than 330 regulations under consideration today impacting everything from farm and construction dust to CO2 emissions from schools and hospitals. (Current Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, Office of Management and Budget, Reginfo.gov)
According to the Small Business Administration, the annual cost to the economy of complying with federal regulations is already as high as $1.75 trillion – or approximately $10,585 per employee – and on the rise. These new regulations will make it challenging for small businesses to create or maintain jobs as they grapple with significant compliance costs and a maze of stringent and often unattainable requirements.
It is essential that we restore balance to the federal regulatory process. With thousands of regulations already on the books, government officials should focus on enforcing current regulations instead of writing thousands of pages of new rules.
The White House has pledged to review the impact and burden of proposed and existing regulations. Through the work of Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations, NFIB will work to ensure that administration officials meet this commitment and regularly hear from voters and small businesses around the country. With unemployment hovering at nine percent and troubling economic forecasts of slow growth, the American people can ill afford a slew of new regulations that drive up prices, send American jobs overseas, and hamper our long-term recovery.
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan small business association representing small and independent businesses in all 50 state capitals. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses.