What I Learned This Week in South Louisiana

By Rhett Davis, Region 6 Advocate

I had the pleasure of meeting with dozens of groups of small business owners in 2018 in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Gathering several businesses in a room and hearing from everyone is very helpful in our effort to collect data on federal regulatory burdens.

During the past week, however, it has been great to talk with small businesses in one-on-one settings. While the stories and industries vary, small business people are united in just wanting the regulatory environment to be as simple and as fair as possible.

A real estate investor was very frustrated with regulations imposed under the Endangered Species Act. He felt that development of condominiums in a particular beach community was nearly impossible because of unnecessary regulations. The need to protect a certain type of mouse, he said, was adding a cost of $100,000 per acre to the development of the land. He said this cost and the long delays for approvals were making it very difficult for his small business to make any profit.

I discussed the many regulations imposed on small banks with an officer of a community bank. The regulations are so complex that he felt we should meet again when he could bring in some experts from his staff to address specific topics. His bank spends a lot of money in order to comply with federal mandates.

Finally, I spoke with an owner of a real estate closing company who told me about friends of hers in various businesses who are constantly hitting brick walls because of regulations. She questioned why we have so many regulations on businesses.

When President Trump first took office in 2017, he announced that two regulations would be repealed for every new regulation applied to businesses during his tenure. That’s why we have such a deregulatory climate right now in Washington, DC. That’s great news for the small businesses mentioned above and all across America.

Rhett Davis serves as the Region 6 Advocate for the SBA Office of Advocacy, representing small businesses in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Davis works with small business owners, state and local governments, and small business associations to bring the voice of Region 6 to Washington DC. He can be reached at Rhett.Davis@sba.gov.

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