New Orleans Roundtable Hits on Common Themes
By Bruce Lundegren, Assistant Chief Counsel
The Office of Advocacy’s second Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtable was hosted in New Orleans on June 8, following a roundtable in Baton Rouge the previous day. Participants identified many federal regulations as problematic for their businesses and were appreciative of the opportunity to share their specific concerns with Advocacy, federal agencies and congressional staff.
This forum allowed small businesses to identify which federal regulations were troublesome and provide specific suggestions on how they could be improved. Some of the regulatory issues discussed were the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States rule, the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, and various procurement regulations. A specific complaint Advocacy heard about procurement rules was the inability of small businesses to compete with large firms on large infrastructure projects due to regulations that were not flexible and that did not consider the impact on small firms.
Advocacy also heard concerns about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Payday Lending rule which one participant called, “an existential threat to payday lenders.” Small businesses also reported that burdensome paperwork and reporting requirements, along with real estate title insurance and closing procedures have become so complex that they now favor large businesses, known as the “big title mills.” The Department of Labor’s new Fiduciary rule also came under strong criticism with these same small businesses, saying it would fundamentally change the way financial advice is offered; thereby hurting the very consumers the rule was intended to protect.
Another industry that expressed its concerns with burdensome federal regulations was the housing industry. Builders, real estate developers and low income housing providers are all feeling the pinch of government overreach. Small builders in attendance stated that 26 percent of housing costs are a result of having to comply with endless federal regulations. As a result, they pointed out, the price of buying a house has become very expensive and every $1,000 increase in home prices means that 150,000 people are priced out of the market. Participants felt strongly that affordable housing is a key issue for small businesses in attracting qualified employees, and those federal regulations which restrict development and increase costs are exacerbating the housing affordability problem. Other regulatory concerns small businesses in this industry highlighted were energy efficiency, environmental, occupational safety and health, and tax rules.
Clearly small businesses in New Orleans have their share of burdensome federal regulations and are anxious for much needed relief. Advocacy is listening and will continue to bring these important issues back to the federal agencies in an effort to reduce the burden on America’s small businesses.
Advocacy was in Louisiana for Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables June 7-8.
Can’t get to a roundtable near you? Fill out this form and tell us about your federal regulatory burdens. We will pass this information on to the appropriate agency and use it in the planning of upcoming Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables.
For more information on Advocacy’s mission, our regulatory reform efforts or to find out where the next Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables will be held, please visit: https://advocacy.sba.gov/regulation/regulatory-reform/.
Bruce Lundegren is an Assistant Chief Counsel for Advocacy whose portfolio includes safety, transportation, and security. Lundegren can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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