The month of August brought the Office of Advocacy to Wyoming and Colorado as the office continues its quest to hear the federal regulatory concerns directly from affected small businesses throughout America. The small business owners and stakeholders who turned out at this round of Advocacy’s Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables did not hold back their frustrations with federal rules and policies.
“Hearing everyone hate their government more than ever before, after sitting here and listening to the complaints today, I see why,” a Colorado mining operator exclaimed. “We are overregulated!”
Many of the small business owners from Wyoming and Colorado shared similar concerns regarding the complexity and burden of regulations in total.
“Someone needs to look at the aggregate effect of all regulations on small businesses,” a Fort Collins, Colo. small business owner told Advocacy. “Individually, it may not be a problem, but all together you have death by a thousand cuts.”
At all three roundtables, the cost of healthcare and the challenge of finding and keeping workers was an issue for nearly every small business owner who spoke.
“Our premiums have doubled and our deductibles have tripled over the last ten years,” a Colorado Springs, Colo. small business owner told the roundtable in describing the benefits his company has offered his employees.
“There is a huge chasm between my definition of affordable and the government’s definition of affordable,” a small general contractor stated regarding the Affordable Care Act and its regulations.
Small businesses in attendance were hopeful to find relief with the coming availability of association plans.
Once again, Advocacy heard from a variety of industries on the negative impact of DOT’s hours of service regulations and Electronic Logging Device mandate.
“The ELD mandate exposes the issues with hours of service,” a Wyoming small trucking advocate stated.
Roundtable participants spoke of local trucking companies closing due to inability to find drivers and also made the case that the hours of service rules are problematic for transportation of livestock.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its regulations under Dodd-Frank were a frequent target. Regarding CFPB’s SEC 1021 pending regulation a Wyoming community banker extolled: “Unless you want complete consolidation in the banking industry, this cannot go into place.”
In spite of all the serious issues raised and the daunting challenges presented by some federal regulations, those who attended were hopeful their concerns were being addressed due to President Trump’s regulatory reform executive order and Advocacy’s outreach in their community.
“We feel for the first time we’re able to play offense not just defense on regulations,” a Colorado agricultural leader said. “We really appreciate your group being willing to come to the states and hear small business concerns.”
Advocacy was in Wyoming and Colorado for Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables August 7-9.
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.
Jason Doré is Advocacy’s Director of Information/Assistant Chief Counsel for External Affairs. He can be reached at Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org.