By Thomas Rossomando, National Advocate for Manufacturing and Technology
The Office of Advocacy recently attended a Regulatory Roundtable in Jacksonville, Fla. Thanks to the hard work of Bruce LeVell, the Regional Advocate for Region 4, and other Advocacy team members who put together four days of successful outreach meetings gathering critical input from small business, we were able to engage with many small businesses.
The Jacksonville Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtable was held at the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. Thanks to the generous work of Chairman Nathaniel P. Ford, Emma Shipman and their talented staff, the Jacksonville roundtable was a huge success.
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is the independent agency responsible for public transit in the city of Jacksonville and roadway infrastructure that connects northeast Florida. The JTA has two rail lines and 46 bus lines including eight rail stations. Approximately 42,000 people per day use one or multiple services.
The room was jam-packed with an array of small business owners as well as staff members from Sen. Marco Rubio’s, Sen. Bill Nelson’s, and Congressman John Rutherford’s offices. All were there to express their concerns regarding onerous regulations that do nothing but stifle small business growth.
Office of Advocacy Acting Deputy Chief Counsel Mitch Tyner gave an excellent description as to why “we are the government and we are here to help.” Tyner made a point to encourage everyone to express any concerns they have regarding burdensome federal regulations that are restricting companies from hiring additional employees.
In addition to the Office of Advocacy team, Ken Hamilton, SBA Supervisory Business Opportunity Specialist, was also in attendance.
One business owner complained about the costly requirement of having to use the Dunn and Bradstreet rating service in order to get a government contract.
Another small business owner spoke about how Dodd-Frank regulations have crushed local lending which has made it harder for small business to thrive. Tyner explained how certain proposed roll-backs of the Dodd-Frank rules will help small business.
Another business owner expressed the lack of enforcement within the construction industry regarding unqualified and illegal labor hurting rule-playing construction owners.
One tech owner feels we should simplify the procurement process including making the search process easier on the website.
One consultant expressed his frustration regarding the 50-employee Affordable Care Act rule. His business has more than 50 employees; however, he cannot bill clients for the healthcare costs of his employees working on different projects at different companies. Their concern is that they will lose employees because they can’t afford the increases.
A veteran business owner is frustrated because most contracts must go to the lowest bid. He feels the government should use the Naval guidelines which are contracts awarded because of best value.
Advocacy was in Florida for Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables June 5-7th.
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.
Thomas Rossomando is the National Advocate for Manufacturing and Technology. Our Regional Advocates in the 10 SBA regions stand ready to hear from you about small business concerns and to help you level the playing field for small businesses in your state.