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NFIB: New Study on Regulations Should Trigger Alarms Washington

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

NFIB: New Study on Regulations Should Trigger Alarms Washington
 Study by manufacturers shows how regulations siphon capital from economy and hurt small businesses 

Washington, DC (September 10, 2014) — The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) today said that a new study released by a group representing American manufacturers should force Congress to get serious about taming a regulatory system that is increasingly, and perhaps prohibitively, expensive for small businesses.

“The real cost on small manufacturers, and therefore the larger cost to the economy, is staggering according to this research,” said Dan Bosch, NFIB Manager of Regulatory Policy.  “The relationship between federal regulations and economic policy is badly out of balance and it’s undermining everything that the Administration and Congress say they want to accomplish.”

The report, by the National Association of Manufacturers, finds that the average American company with 50 or fewer employees pays nearly $12,000 to comply with regulations.  Remarkably, the average small manufacturer (those with 50 or fewer workers), must pay nearly $35,000 per year, per employee to be in compliance.

“A small manufacturing firm with 10 employees must spend $350,000 per year, before they make a single dollar in profit, to comply with federal regulations,” said Bosch.  “That’s a massive barrier to entry for small businesses and a powerful incentive to invest and create jobs outside of the United States.”

President Obama and every member of Congress claim as a central economic policy the revitalization of the manufacturing sector, which has shed millions of jobs over the past decade under withering pressure from overseas competitors whose regulatory costs aren’t nearly as high.  That’s the right goal, said Bosch, because manufacturing jobs generally pay more than service sector positions.  Clearly, though, that goal is undermined by the bewildering proliferation of regulations and the costs they impose on small businesses.

“It’s always been one of the main pathways to the middle class for Americans and the federal regulatory bureaucracy is now blocking it,” he said.  “We’re not going to have a serious jobs policy, or a serious economic policy, unless we get serious about reigning in the regulatory system.”

NFIB is part of a coalition of organizations calling for sensible regulations.  Its website provides research on the rules affecting small businesses and their effect on the economy.  For more information about NFIB please visit www.nfib.com.


Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations Coalition Applauds House Committee’s Hearing on Regulatory Oversight

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

WASHINGTON – Dan Bosch, manager of regulatory policy for the NFIB, made the following statement today regarding the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, “Management Failures: Oversight of the EPA.

“While President Obama pledged early in his Administration to promote an “open exchange of ideas” and greater public participation in the regulatory process, his administration – especially the EPA – has regularly failed to take into account small business input or direct or indirect impacts to their business. Too often newly proposed rules including recent changes to Clean Water Act permitting do not include required analysis of undue compliance burdens to small businesses.”

“As a top issue facing America’s small businesses, improving the regulatory process to be more transparent, accountable and less burdensome should be a top priority of EPA Administrator McCarthy and the entire administration.  The Administration’s Unified Agenda of regulations released over Memorial Day weekend shows nearly 3,300 regulations in the federal pipeline.  While small businesses are steadfastly committed to regulatory compliance and ensuring environmental, worker and public protections, in recent years, the regulatory burden has grown and threatened our members’ ability to create jobs and expand their businesses.  The current regulatory process at agencies like EPA is not working and requires reform.”

 

For more information on the campaign, visit www.sensibleregulations.org


NFIB Fights EPA’s Expanded Definition of Navigable Waters

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

The National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations coalition applauded the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee today for shining a light on the controversial Administration proposal to expand the definition of navigable waters – in some cases to include even small depressions or farm ponds – that receive federal protection under the Clean Water Act.

Dan Bosch, manager of regulatory policy for the NFIB, said the proposed rule, with its vague definition and potential for onerous fines and stiff penalties on small businesses, would unfairly impact small business owners:

“Only in the bureaucracy of the Environmental Protection Agency would it make sense to reclassify land as a ‘federal water’ if it accumulates water at any point in a year.  But that is what EPA is proposing with its vague new definition of what constitutes waters of the United States.  This proposal stands to deter small business owners from land development and investment with the specter of thousands of dollars in permitting fees or fines,” Bosch said on behalf of the coalition.

NFIB’s review of the proposed rulemaking on “Definition of Waters of the U.S.” finds that it will have a tremendous impact on small businesses across virtually every sector. EPA has alleged that since this is a simple definition change, there are no major costs directly imposed on small businesses. However, there will certainly be costs directly imposed on small businesses through the permit process and other compliance requirements. In addition, the proposed rule makes it clear that many waters will need to be determined on a case-by-case basis, therefore providing little, if any, additional certainty.  NFIB successfully petitioned for a longer comment period earlier this year and EPA is now accepting comments through October 20, 2014.

Added Bosch, “Sadly, this proposed rule is just another unfortunate example of the backwards nature of the modern regulatory process; one devoid of transparency and any consideration of the impact of new regulations on small business owners and manufacturers across the country. Simple, common-sense improvements can be made today to change the rule-making process so it benefits everyone – from consumers and the environment to the small business owner looking to build a new shed on his land right near a pond full of yesterdays’ rain water.”

BACKGROUND ON THE PROPOSED RULE

Under the Clean Water Act, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) have authority over “waters of the United States,” even those on private property. If land is defined as a wetland, or has another significant connection to downstream water quality, the owner must get a permit from EPA/ACE in order to do any kind of development or alteration to that parcel. As of a decade ago, the average cost of a Clean Water Act permit was more than $270,000. Altering land without a permit can lead to fines of up to $37,500 per day.

Under the proposed rule, the EPA is seeking to vastly broaden the definition of what a wetland is. In the proposed rule, the agencies are aiming to go so far as to regulate and with a ditch or hole that collects water for as little as a few days per year. Additionally, under federal law, if a rule will have a significant impact on small businesses EPA must analyze it and meet with a group of small business owners to get feedback before it is published. However, EPA never conducted such a meeting because it wrongly claims the rule will have no harmful impact on small businesses.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.sensibleregulations.org. And read NFIB’s letter requesting that the agencies extend the written comment period.


Delaware Business Leaders Featured In “Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations” Campaign

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

For Immediate Release                                        Contact:

Delaware Business Leaders Featured In “Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations” Campaign

 

DOVER, DE – March 5, 2014 –Delaware business owners Tim Boulden and David Lyons have been chosen by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) to be featured in the Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations national video series.

Both men were also among 30 state business leaders who met Friday morning with U.S. Sen. Tom Carper to thank him for his stalwart leadership in Washington on the issue of regulatory reform and to urge him to advance balanced, sensible regulatory solutions in the months ahead that help small businesses.

Boulden is president of Boulden Brothers Propane, Boulden’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, and Boulden Brothers Plumbing headquartered in Newark. Lyons is president and CEO of the Lyons Companies, based in Wilmington.

Jessica Cooper, the NFIB state director for Delaware, said, “We are thrilled to have these exemplary Delaware small business owners showcased in our effort to have a national conversation about the broken federal regulatory process. With more than 90 years of combined experience creating jobs and running successful businesses in Delaware, Mr. Boulden and Mr. Lyons talk directly to the challenges posed by a regulatory process that places a greater emphasis on enforcement over compliance. We strongly believe that their stories will help more people realize that the regulatory process, as currently situated, benefits no one – neither the businesses trying to create jobs nor the public’s safety.”

Boulden said of his participation in the video, “It’s always been troubling to me that we only hear Washington lawmakers and the Administration talk about the concerns of small businesses during an election year.  To my 50 employees and their families who feel the burden the regulatory process places on my businesses, this is an issue that deserves year-round attention. Discussing the various common sense, bipartisan ways of improving the regulatory process is something that should always be on the agenda regardless of when the next election is taking place.”

Added Lyons, “Regulations are critical, but we can have a system in place that does things smarter and benefits everyone. I’ve seen how the current regulatory process has negatively affected entrepreneurs and also forced new start-ups to go about doing business in a different manner. There’s no reason we shouldn’t improve a regulatory process that both political parties agree needs to be modernized.”

Click here to watch Tim Boulden’s interview or here for David Lyons.

About Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations: 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. Learn more at http://www.sensibleregulations.org.

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Delaware Businesses Leaders Discuss Partisanship in Washington and Federal Regulation with U.S. Sen. Tom Carper

Friday, 28 February 2014

 

Carper


 

FOR RELEASE: February 28, 2014
CONTACT:
Emily Spain (Carper) (202) 224-2441 or [email protected]
Cheryl Corn (DSCC) (302) 576-6572 or [email protected]
Jack Mozloom (NFIB) (609) 989-8777      

Delaware Businesses Leaders Discuss Partisanship in Washington and Federal Regulation with U.S. Sen. Tom Carper 

WILMINGTON, Del. – More than 30 small business owners, manufacturers and community leaders met this morning with U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) to discuss partisanship in Washington and federal regulation.

In a tour and business roundtable at Masley Enterprises in Wilmington, local business leaders shared their stories and offered input on the Affordable Care Act and how regulations could be issued, reviewed, and enforced to ensure worker and environmental protections while also enabling local businesses to grow and create jobs.  Sen. Carper and the participants also discussed the challenge of getting things done in an increasingly partisan Washington.

Senator Carper, the senior senator from Delaware, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, which oversees personnel and management issues across the federal government said, “One of the best parts of my job as a Senator is getting to meet regularly with my constituents to hear about the issues that are important to them and how I can be helpful.  Today’s conversation with local business leaders about the challenges and opportunities they face, and how my colleagues and I in Washington can help create a nurturing environment for job creation, was valuable and informative.  I have always believed that we don’t have to choose between having strong economic growth and strong regulations to protect our workers, our environment and our public health; we just need to strike the right balance between these important priorities by using some common sense. The Obama Administration has taken some meaningful steps to improve federal rule making to ensure that they are as efficient and effective as possible, but I always appreciate getting feedback from my constituents on what is working and where we can continue to improve our efforts. I think today’s conversation was helpful in that regard.

Richard Heffron, the interim president of the Delaware State Chamber, said “Our members aren’t looking to get rid of regulations; we just need a smarter regulatory process. We need a system that does a better job of anticipating the impact that a new rule will have on businesses and manufacturers before it is implemented. A streamlined process, with greater transparency, will give our job creators the freedom to reinvest and expand their operations. I appreciate Senator Carper’s willingness to meet with our members today.”

Added Tim Boulden, of Newark-based Boulden Brothers Plumbing, Propane, and Heating & Air Conditioning,  “The U.S. Small Business Administration’s study, ‘The Impact of Regulatory Costs on Small Firms,’ said the total annual cost of following the rules for a small business is $10,585 per employee, or about $2,830 more than a large business. That can be a huge burden.  The number of new and existing regulations we face every day  put a significant strain not only on me, but also the people I work with. I’d like to thank Senator Carper for meeting with us and listening to our concerns and our suggestions.” 

Jessica Cooper, the Delaware state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), talked about her organization’s focus on making sensible changes to the regulatory process.  “Regulations play a critical role in safeguarding our member businesses, their customers and the community at large,” Cooper said. “But increasingly, the regulatory process has been more of an impediment to businesses with more than 3,000 federal rules in the pipeline today. New rules are drafted without consideration or review of the compounded impacts with other regulations. We need to ensure that the government works with businesses of all kinds to better address their needs.”

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U.S. Sen. Carper (D-Del.) meets with members of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).


NAM and NFIB Call For Action to Modernize Regulatory Process

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

NAM and NFIB Call For Action to Modernize Regulatory Process
NAVIGATING COMPLEX FEDERAL REGULATORY SYSTEM REMAINS BARRIER TO SMALL BUSINESS AND MANUFACTURING GROWTH            

WASHINGTON (February 26, 2014) – The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) are joining forces to urge for long-overdue reforms to the overly complex and inefficient federal regulatory process. The partnership was announced during a panel event on federal regulations this morning. During the course of the upcoming year, the two organizations will utilize the full weight of their grassroots networks in an effort to engage with Congress and the Administration on the need for regulatory improvements.

Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the NAM, said, “This is a strong and necessary partnership because manufacturers and small businesses face a disproportionate burden of all regulatory costs. While manufacturers recognize the need for regulation, the scope and complexity of rules have made it harder to do business and compete in recent years. This is a trend that simply cannot continue and is easily solved with several common-sense fixes. We can achieve a streamlined regulatory process with increased accountability and transparency that will protect businesses, manufacturers and the consumers.”

NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner added, “Poll after poll indicates most Americans feel Washington is doing too much, too fast on regulations. Time and time again, we hear from our members about the complex regulatory climate and how, with a little more transparency and openness, the regulations would be more effective and work more efficiently for everyone. This is a bipartisan issue that Congress can rally behind and move quickly to address.”

This morning’s event, which included opening remarks by House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), fell during the House of Representative’s week-long focus on regulations. Panelists included former Virginia Gov. George Allen; former U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR); Susan Dudley, the Director of the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center and the former administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA); Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen; and Philip Howard, author of The Death of Common Sense.

Navigating federal regulations continues to be one of the top problems facing small business owners and manufacturers. The regulatory process leaves businesses mired in uncertainty and spending precious time and money trying to navigate applicable regulatory requirements. This results in fewer resources being invested in hiring new employees or growing their business. In 2013 alone, business owners and manufacturers spent more than 67 million hours filling out paperwork at a cost to the economy of approximately $112 billion. And according to a study by the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI), compliance costs for manufacturers have increased an average of 7.6 percent per year since 1998, while manufacturing output has grown at an anemic 0.4 percent.

The NAM and NFIB intend to talk about how small businesses and manufacturers need regulations that are thoughtfully crafted, analyzed, implemented, and enforced to protect the public, workers and the environment as intended. Too often today, rules are drafted without input from the sectors responsible for implementing them and without a review of the compounded impacts with other regulations. More federal regulations are not always needed, and priority should be placed on reviewing and enforcing those already on the book.


East County Journal (WA): Countless regulations burden small businesses, stalling economic growth

Monday, 7 October 2013

The East County Journal (WA) last week featured coverage highlighting the negative impact that new federal regulations are having on small business owners in Washington state.  The article noted an August 28 press conference and roundtable discussion at Braun Northwest, a manufacturer of specialty emergency vehicles, in Chehalis, Washington, where small business owners expressed frustration over government rules and regulations that are preventing them from growing operations and creating new jobs.  NFIB-WA State Director Patrick Connor commented in the piece, “Our states regulatory climate are the top concern and burden in growing business and creating jobs in this state, small businesses are the ones that drive the economy.”

(Source:  The East County Journal (WA), “Countless regulations burden small businesses, stalling economic growth”, by Christina Crea, 10/4/13)


Bay Area – Citizen (TX): “3,500 federal regulations in the pipeline, 739 directly aimed at small businesses”

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Bay Area – Citizen featured a Letter to the Editor this morning from Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations coalition member Eric Donaldson.  Donaldson mentioned the difficulty he faces as a small business owner, without the benefit of valuable resources dedicated solely to compliance and paperwork, dealing with new government regulations.  Donaldson noted, “I run a small business. As the president and senior employee I have to occasionally fill the role of human relations supervisor, comptroller, treasurer, director of purchasing, marketing manager and, all too often, compliance officer…Unlike the army of Federal employees, I only have 24 hours in a day, and every one of those hours I have to spend with my accountant, my attorney, or my banker to deal with new regulations is an hour I am not spending growing my business and hiring more people.”

(Source:  Your Houston News, “Sensible Regulations for Small Businesses”, by Eric Donaldson, 10/3/13)


Small Businesses In The News Week of October 1

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

This weeks small businesses “In The News” included the following stories:

Government shutdown welcomed as reprieve from new regulations
Columbus Business Insider, Evan Weese, 9/30/13

Columbus Business Insider featured coverage indicating that not all small business owners are concerned about the negative impacts of a federal shutdown.  In fact, some small business owners, are taking comfort in the fact that a government shutdown means welcome reprieve from burdensome new regulations.

NFIB testimony before House Judiciary Subcommittee: “Regulatory Tidal Wave Inhibits Jobs, Growth”
Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations Blog, 9/30/13

During testimony on Monday before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Virginia NFIB State Director Nicole Riley told members that unreasonable regulations are crippling small business growth and slowing job creation in her state. “From January 1 through September 27 of this year, federal agencies have issued 2,878 rules. That is more than 10 new requirements a day that small business owners need to review to see if they apply to their business,” Riley said.

Shutdown would choke flow of federal regulations
The Hill – Regulation Watch Blog, 9/30/13, Julian Hattem

The Hill reported yesterday that regulations already set for printing in the Federal Register would go ahead, but after that only notices “necessary for the protection of life and property” would be published. The administration’s rule-making will slow down considerably in the coming days.


Government shutdown welcomed as reprieve from new regulations

Columbus Biz Insider featured coverage today indicating that not all small business owners are concerned about the negative impacts of a federal government shutdown.  In fact, some small business owners, are taking comfort in the fact that a government shutdown means no new costly regulations are being created.  The article noted, “Talk about laissez-faire. As a federal government shutdown looms, one Central Ohio banking executive thinks such a failure by Congress provides a much-needed reprieve from new regulations on the industry.  Heartland Bank CEO Scott McComb said as much Monday in a conversation about what might accompany the midnight expiration of current government funding.  “Take a week or two off and that’ll be two weeks that we won’t have a new law in banking,” McComb said.”

(Columbus Biz Insider, “Government shutdown welcomed as reprieve from new regulations”, Evan Weese, 9/30/13)


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