Sponsored by NFIB — The Voice of Small Business


My Administration is firmly committed to eliminating excessive and unjustified burdens on small businesses, and to ensuring that regulations are designed with careful consideration of their effects, including their cumulative effects, on small businesses.

Barack Obama, January 18, 2011

 Statement of Principles for Regulatory Reform

America’s small businesses deserve a greater voice in the federal regulatory process.

In a 2011 executive order, the President pledged to promote an “open exchange of ideas” and greater public participation in the regulatory process. The Administration should:

–     Invite public input in the earliest stages of crafting regulations

–     Promote discussion about what problems proposed regulations are supposed to fix

–     Develop regulations that meet agency objectives and provide flexibility for businesses

The Administration’s first focus should be on providing assistance to small businesses before assessing penalties, including: 

– Waiving fines for first offenses that involve minor errors on regulatory paperwork

– Assisting small business owners in understanding and complying with the complex and voluminous regulatory requirements affecting their businesses

– Involve small businesses early in the regulatory process by soliciting their input

Every major regulation should undergo rigorous benefit-cost analysis including:

– Using the best available methods to estimate the benefits and costs of new regulations

– Taking into account the indirect costs of regulations on U.S. jobs and competitiveness and their cumulative effects on small businesses

– Tailoring regulations to impose the least burden on the economy and only adopting those rules whose benefits justify the costs

Regulations should be based on objective data and hard science including:

– Using a consistent process to evaluate science and data justifying regulation

– Selecting advisory panels based on their knowledge and experience in science and business

The regulatory process requires more transparency and accountability, including:

– Making public the data, methods, and models underlying federal regulatory decision-making

– Establishing clear standards for assessing risks and calculating benefits and costs

– Calling on Congress and empowering courts to ensure that agencies follow these principles

Click here to read an open letter Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations sent to the White House on November 1, 2011.