Texas Small Businesses Share Their Concerns with Advocacy

The Office of Advocacy visited San Antonio and Austin, Texas, on September 5-6 to meet with small business leaders and hear about their federal regulatory concerns.

The Small Business Development Center at Texas State University hosted our Austin small business regulatory forum. An enthusiastic group of attendees provided us with a lot of information.

One attendee discussed trucking regulations. She said that small trucking companies have trouble managing compliance issues when federal, state and local laws and regulations conflict. She suggested that a computer program or app be developed to help regulators at different levels better communicate and avoid conflicting statutes and rules.

We also heard about the impact that tariffs are having on small businesses throughout the state. A bank representative suggested that the federal government conduct a comprehensive study to determine the true cost of tariffs to American businesses.

Our small business regulatory forum in San Antonio was held in the shadow of the Alamo at the San Antonio Central Library. It was hosted by Launch SA, a mentorship and networking organization for small businesses.

The group discussed possible adjustments to NAICS codes, HUBZone residency requirements and the difficulty small businesses have when trying to get paid for completed work by federal agencies.

The Office of Advocacy thanks the business leaders who attended the forums for providing feedback and suggestions.

There are 2.7 million small businesses in Texas, comprising 99.8% of all firms in the state. They employ nearly five million people, or about 45% of the employees in the state.

About 40,000 businesses exported goods from Texas in 2016. Of these, 93% were small firms. They generated about 40% of the $217.8 billion in total exports.

Trade issues are important to small businesses everywhere, but especially in Texas and other border states. We look forward to returning to Texas to learn more about these and other issues in the months ahead.

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.