PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Regulatory Accountability and Solutions are the Focus of Small Business Visits with Federal Agencies this Week

By at 27 October, 2014, 5:33 am

email: Cynthia Cardoso, ccardoso@sbecouncil.org

Washington, D.C. – The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) will host several of the group’s small business leaders and experts this week to meet with regulators and staff at several federal agencies, and provide input and feedback on key initiatives within those agencies. According to SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan, direct regulatory advocacy by small business owners is becoming increasingly necessary given the scope of federal rulemakings and activity. Many regulators lack understanding or concern about how their proposals may impact entrepreneurship and small businesses.

SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan (center) along with members Brian Moran, Victoria Braden, Todd Flemming and Barbara Weltman met with top regulators and their staffs at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Health and Human Services (HHS) as well as congressional leadership staff and key committees of Congress to discuss regulatory impact on small business and solutions to improve small business accountability in the regulatory process.

SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan (center) along with members Brian Moran, Victoria Braden, Todd Flemming and Barbara Weltman met with top regulators and their staffs at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Health and Human Services (HHS) as well as congressional leadership staff and key committees of Congress to discuss regulatory impact on small business and solutions to improve small business accountability in the regulatory process.

“Fly-ins to Washington must move beyond visits with Congress. Federal regulators and agency staff need to hear directly from small business owners on a regular basis. While some federal agencies host roundtables and outreach events to hear the views of small businesses, we believe entrepreneurs must take the initiative and call on regulators to strengthen our voice and improve accountability within federal agencies. Part of our time will be spent providing feedback about specific regulations or proposals, but we also hope to leverage these meetings to develop strategies and solutions to bolster the voice and influence of entrepreneurs in the regulatory process,” said Kerrigan.

The group will meet with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Health and Human Services (HHS), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) among others, as well as advocates within the government that serve as watchdogs for small businesses. The “Regulatory Accountability Day” (RAD) meetings will take place October 27-October 28. According to Kerrigan, this pilot advocacy program will scale up in the future to include more small business members and a greater number of federal agencies.

“The scope of federal regulation is growing and so are the burdens, costs and complexity for small businesses. We will continue to push for reform legislation in Congress, however, small business engagement with regulators must vastly increase to compliment congressional oversight efforts. Unfortunately, start up activity remains alarmingly low and business growth is weak. Intrusive and outdated regulation is harming the business environment. We can continue to whine about regulators who are unaccountable or out-of-touch, or we can do something about it. We choose the latter,” added Kerrigan.

In a survey conducted earlier this year, SBE Council’s Center for Regulatory Solutions (CRS) found 72 percent of Americans believe that regulations are created in a “secretive” rather than “open” process; and 70 percent said regulations “hurt the American economy.” In addition, 68 percent said regulations are “created by out-of-touch” people, and only 17 percent said they trusted the federal government to regulate business, versus 33 percent who trust state government and 41 percent who trust local government to regulate business. (1,000 Americans. Margin of error +_ 3.5%. Political afflilation: 47% Independent, 22% Republican, 27% Democrat.)  In 2013, federal agencies approved more than 3,600 new regulations. Approximately, 4,000 proposed regulations were in the pipeline at the beginning of 2014.

SBE Council is a nonprofit advocacy, research and education organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For more information, please visit: www.sbecouncil.org.

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