Idaho and Washington Small Businesses Speak Out against Burdensome Regulations

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By Claudia Rodgers, Senior Counsel

The Office of Advocacy continued its series of Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables by traveling to the states of Idaho and Washington in the month of July to hear first-hand the concerns of small businesses in those states. In a response to President Trump’s call for regulatory reform Advocacy began these important public meetings to develop a list of federal rules that are burdening our nation’s small businesses. Small employers from far and wide are making their way to these important events to tell their story and plead for relief.

The most recent roundtables were held in Boise, Idaho on July 11; Spokane, Washington on July 12; and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on July 13.

“Enough is enough!” small business reported in Boise. Unreasonable regulations that don’t take into consideration the real life impacts they are having on actual small businesses in this region were named as the culprit. Employers told numerous stories of small businesses that have had to close their doors as a result of onerous federal regulations.

Spokane business owners described regulations that have “penalized the good actors instead of the bad.” As a result, they believe the federal government has “gone overboard and over regulated” in many industries, which has negatively impacted those employers trying to do it right. “We’re the little guy just trying to do business, but because of unnecessary regulations we are barely getting by,” proclaimed a small manufacturer. Business owners at this roundtable were pleased that someone is finally listening to their issues and that Advocacy was there in person to see and hear their concerns.

Coeur d’Alene business owners were also ready to detail their regulatory burdens and describe to Advocacy exactly which rules have been problematic for businesses in this region. “Frequently the consequences of some of these rules have the opposite affect from what was intended,” declared one business owner. “These regulations are killing small businesses in both time and money,” stated another.  As the voice for small business, it’s the Office of Advocacy’s job to get that message directly to the federal regulators at the agencies responsible for reviewing their existing rules and deciding which are ripe for reform.

Some of the specific regulations discussed by businesses in these areas were: Department of Labor’s Minimum Wage rule, Forest Service’s Timber set aside rule, the Army Corps of Engineers’ Flood Control permits, EPA’s Hardrock Mining rule, EPA’s Waters of the United States rule, FDA’s Food Safety regulations, Fish & Wildlife’s Endangered Species critical habitat designations, Department of Labor’s Overtime regulation, OSHA’s Confined Spaces rules, Border Adjustment Tax rules, Department of Transportation’s trucking rules and so many, many more.

After listening to frustrated small businesses in this region, it is clear that they are in need of help with these and many other burdensome regulatory issues. Small businesses in Idaho and Washington are asking for regulatory relief. Advocacy will continue to work with federal regulatory agencies and ensure that these important voices are heard. These series of important roundtables will continue, with the next stops being in Kentucky and Ohio. For more information on Advocacy’s regulatory reform efforts, to attend a roundtable near you, or to provide input about your small business federal regulatory concerns, please visit our regulatory reform page.


Advocacy was in Idaho and Washington for Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables July 11-13.

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/.

Claudia Rodgers is Advocacy’s Senior Counsel. She can be reached at Claudia.Rodgers@sba.gov.

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