Sponsored by NFIB — The Voice of Small Business

Small Business Facts

Small businesses create two-thirds of the net new jobs annually, employ more than half of the private-sector workforce, and generate nearly 50 percent of annual GDP.  America’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy and engines of job creation.

Regulations by the numbers

Today, there are 3,348 federal regulations in the pipeline, with nearly 1/3 impacting small business directly.  (Source: The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Unified Agenda 2013)

According to the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, small business owners have cited regulations as a top impediment to conducting business for over 65 months in a row. (Source: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index)

United States fell out of the top ten ranks in the ease of starting a business, according to World Bank data.  In fact, the World Bank found that it’s easier to start a new business in Portugal, Romania, Panama, Hungary and Belarus than in the U.S. (Source: U.S. World Bank)

Due to federal regulations, U.S. productivity growth rate is nearly half of its historical rate, dropping from an annual average rate of 2.5 percent since 1948 to 1.1 percent since 2011. (Source: Wall Street Journal, 2014)

The annual rate of new business starts is about 28% lower today than it was in the 1980s, according to a recent analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data in the Wall Street Journal. (Source: Wall Street Journal, 2014)

Over the last five decades, there has been a tremendous growth of the Federal Register – in 1960 there were 22,877 pages and in 2012 there were 174,545 pages. (Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute)

Polls reveal federal regulations hurting small business owners

August’s NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism rose 0.7 points to 95.7. In comparison, between 1975 and 2008, the historical average index value was nearly 100.  (Source:  NFIB – Small Business Optimism Index)

Nearly 60 percent of small business owners think it’s a bad time for small business expansion. (Source:  NFIB – Small Business Optimism Index)

21 percent of small business owners cite regulations as their single most important problem (Source:  NFIB – Small Business Optimism Index)

90 percent of small business owners support reforming the regulatory process.  (Source:  NAM/NFIB Survey, “Small Businesses and Manufacturers:  Government a Barrier”)

74 percent of small business owners believe that businesses and consumers are over-regulated.  (Source:  Public Notice, “MEMO:  National poll on government regulations)

72 percent of small businesses reported that regulations were hurting their “operating environment” (Source:  Wells Fargo/Gallup News Release, “Small Business Index”)

67 percent of small businesses do not have plans to hire in the next six months due to poor business conditions (Source: Capital One second quarter 2013 Spark Small Business Barometer)

62 percent of small business owners and manufacturers say that the United States own laws, regulations, rules, taxes and fees impact their business more negatively than foreign competitors.  (Source:  NAM/NFIB Survey, “Small Businesses and Manufacturers:  Government a Barrier”)

55 percent of small business owners say they would not start a business today given what they know now and in the current regulatory environment. (Source:  NAM/NFIB Survey, “Small Businesses and Manufacturers:  Government a Barrier”)

54 percent of small business owners say countries like China and India are more supportive of their small businesses and manufacturers than the United States.  (Source:  NAM/NFIB Survey, “Small Businesses and Manufacturers:  Government a Barrier”)


Impact of Federal Regulations

Federal regulations cost an estimated $515 billion, according to analysis by NFIB. (Source:  Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations, “Regulatory Tidal Wave)

Regulatory burdens on Americans increased by nearly $70 billion during President Obama’s first term in office.  (Source: Heritage Foundation)

Federal agencies reported $23.5 billion in new annual regulatory costs in 2012 alone.  (Source:  Heritage Foundation)

President Obama’s FY2013 budget request for regulatory activities was $58.7 billioncompared to $2.8 billion in 1960. (Source: “Growth in Regulators’ Budget Slowed by Fiscal Stalemate: An Analysis of the U.S. Budget for Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013,” The George Washington University and Washington University in St. Louis)

Average annual cost of regulations in President Obama’s first two years in office ranged from $8 to $16.5 billion, compared to a $1.3 to $3.4 billion during the same period under President Bush.  (Source:  Annenberg Public Policy Center:  FactCheck.org) 


Need for Regulatory Reform

283,615 full-time government employees were dedicated to drafting and enforcing regulations in 2012, while fewer than 50 employees at OMB are responsible for reviewing the new regulatory mandates to ensure they are justified and accurate prior to implementation  (Source: “Growth in Regulators’ Budget Slowed by Fiscal Stalemate: An Analysis of the U.S. Budget for Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013,” The George Washington University and Washington University in St. Louis)

From 2003-2010, one-third of major rules, costing $100 million or more, did not go through public review and input, despite federal requirements for public comment. (Source: GAO Report)