“Regulations are so out of control!” Virginia Small Business Owners Speak Out

By Claudia Rodgers, Senior Counsel

The Office of Advocacy held a listening session to aid in President Trump’s regulatory reform efforts and to find out which federal regulations are most problematic for small businesses. This time we went to Glen Allen, Virginia at the request of Congressman Dave Brat, who had heard of Advocacy’s recent outreach to small businesses regarding regulatory burdens they are facing.

“We aren’t against regulations, they just need to be sensible” was a common theme heard at the October 16th roundtable. The industries in attendance ranged from trucking companies to small retail shops. One thing they all had in common was a strong belief that something must be done to stem the tide of the overly burdensome regulations affecting our nation’s small businesses.

“The burden is absolutely immense on us small employers,” declared one small owner. “There actually seems to be an overall attempt to make it difficult for small businesses to succeed.”

As a result of Executive Orders 13771 and 13777, signed by President Trump earlier this year, Advocacy began hosting Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables across the country to bring small businesses to the table to discuss specific federal regulatory burdens they have been facing. While small businesses from each city and state gives Advocacy a different picture of the regulatory landscape across the country, there are common themes heard loud and clear —frustration and desperation on behalf of the small businesses.

“We are struggling, yet we are the good guys who are doing all that we can to stay afloat,” explained a Virginia small home health care provider. When faced with regulations that they consider to be “poor policy” many small businesses in Virginia told Advocacy they feel as if they are drowning in unnecessary regulatory costs.
A variety of specific regulations were highlighted by small businesses at the roundtable; including rules from the Federal Highway Administration, the Department of Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, the Food and Drug Administration and so many more. With so many regulatory concerns facing small business in Virginia, Advocacy will continue to ensure that these voices at the roundtable and those across the country continue to be heard.

Congressman Brat, who sits on the House Small Business Committee, assured the roundtable attendees that small business concerns in his state are a priority for his office and that he will do everything he can in Congress to fight on their behalf. Brat also promised to work closely with Advocacy as summaries from our Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables are provided to encourage common sense changes to unnecessary and overly burdensome federal regulations affecting Virginia small businesses.

“The willingness of senior leaders at the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy to make their rounds and come visit the 7th District to hear from small business owners is proof the Trump Administration is committed to listening and wants small businesses to succeed,” Rep. Brat said in his office’s press release. “By working together, I am confident we can identify legislative solutions to deliver results to hard working Virginia business owners.”

For more information on the Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables, where the next Advocacy event will be held, and what progress is being made on these important small business issues, please visit our website.

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