Advocacy Hosts Spirited Regulatory Reform Roundtable in Phoenix, Arizona
By Bruce Lundegren, Assistant Chief Counsel
The western spirit was on full display as the Office of Advocacy hosted a well-attended Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtable in Phoenix, Ariz., on May 1. The meeting attracted dozens of small businesses and their representatives who were eager to voice their concerns about federal regulations impacting their businesses. The discussion touched on a number of issues from procurement and finance to labor and land use.
The discussion began with a small construction contractor who complained that the small business size standards for construction firms was too large and made it difficult for his firm to compete with larger firms on small business set aside contracts. He also stated that the bid protest procedures were onerous and expensive, making a successful challenge very difficult. Another small business stated that federal agencies should use uniform application forms so that small businesses are not required to reproduce the same information over and over for each new bid.
Another small business representative stated that Arizona was suffering from a lack of access to capital, as many local banks have left the state. He stated that federal policy should encourage community reinvestment to help small businesses gain access to capital in order to grow.
Ranching and land use issues were other areas of discussion, as several ranchers complained that federal environmental policy – particularly the Endangered Species Act (ESA) – was biased against small businesses that produce food, fiber, and minerals on federal lands. Another participant complained that the ESA petition process was too lax and allowed any citizen to sue on baseless claims. She recommended that the ESA be strengthened to require the use of sound science and the best available data.
Other issues raised included the Department of Labor’s Overtime rule, which an attendee said would have imposed significant costs on small business; the Dodd-Frank Act and its impact on small financial service providers; and the impact of the Supreme Courts’ recent Wayfair decision, which a small jewelry manufacturer said could require the collection of sales taxes in numerous tax jurisdictions across the country.
It was a spirited discussion led by small businesses, national and local trade association representatives, and area Congressional staff members. Attendees expressed appreciation for the opportunity to provide their input and stated that they hoped these issues could be addressed in a timely manner.
Advocacy was in Oklahoma, Arizona, and Nevada for Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables April 29-May 2.
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.
For more information on Advocacy’s mission, our regulatory reform efforts or to find out where the next Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables will be held, please visit: https://advocacy.sba.gov/regulation/regulatory-reform/.
Bruce Lundegren is an Assistant Chief Counsel for Advocacy whose portfolio includes safety, transportation, and security. Lundegren can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.