Atlanta Business Owners Feel the Pinch of Regulation

By Claudia Rodgers, Senior Counsel

At the most recent Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtable held in Atlanta, Georgia, the Office of Advocacy heard from local small businesses about the weight of their federal regulatory burden. “Small businesses need help to comply with the myriad of rules and regulations that are out there and that affect their business,” stated a small transportation company owner. While many businesses would like to expand and grow, it has become “a challenge for us to just keep up with the burdens the federal government places on us.”

Advocacy has been hosting these regional meetings in an effort to hear first-hand from small businesses across the country which federal regulations are most costly and problematic for them. President Trump signed two important Executive Orders in January, 2017 that instructed federal regulatory agencies to review their current rules to see which can be revised, reformed or eliminated, and to form a task force at every agency to help in making these decisions. Advocacy’s Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables are an opportunity for small entities to speak directly with the office charged with being the voice of small business in front of the federal agencies making those decisions. Attendees at this most recent roundtable were clearly anxious to speak up and be heard about the economic impact federal rules have on their businesses.

A home health care company described the additional costly burdens that the Affordable Care Act regulations placed on their businesses, costing them at least $10,000 more per month. In addition this business is “no longer able to offer health care plans to their employees that may help them the most because the new rules are so restrictive.” The sentiment that the federal government does not truly understand how small businesses operate was a shared frustration during the roundtable. Small businesses felt that this lack of understanding has led to federal regulations that don’t make sense in the real world and for their businesses.

A used car dealership owner described how the IRS 1099C regulation does not make sense for his business or his customers and how a simple exemption for auto dealers could be an easy fix. “The cost to our business is tremendous, not to mention the wasted man hours and unnecessary paperwork,” he declared.

Another common complaint heard around the table was there are numerous complicated regulations and with differing ways they can be interpreted. Without clear direction from the federal government, small businesses stated they feel as if they are left to spend endless hours and dollars to try and interpret the meaning of the rules and how to comply. The “mom and pop shops have to do it all – run the business, be the compliance officer, and deal with all of the paperwork,” a small owner stated.

Atlanta small business owners were grateful Advocacy came to them to hear their concerns and they pleaded for assistance in regulatory relief.  EPA, Department of Labor, IRS, Department of Transportation, and the Department of Health & Human Services are just some of the federal regulatory agencies that small businesses in this area say have issued costly and burdensome regulations in recent years that are weighing down their business. The Office of Advocacy will continue to work with these and other federal agencies to ensure that these small business voices and specific complaints are heard and considered during this exciting period of regulatory reform.

The Office of Advocacy is compiling specific regulatory complaints and suggestions for improvement as these roundtables are being held across the country and continues to work with federal regulatory agencies to ensure these important small business voices are heard in Washington, DC. For more information on the regulatory reform effort or where the next Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtable will be held, please visit www.sba/gov/advocacy/regulatory-reform.

Advocacy was in Atlanta for Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtable and NAFTA Modernization Outreach Meetings on April 10-11th.

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. 

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

 

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