Interagency Cooperation Saves Christmas for Tree Harvesting Company

By Apollo Fuhriman, Region 10 Advocate

At the end of October, a distraught business owner in Salem, Ore., contacted Regional Advocate Apollo Fuhriman seeking help for her business.  This Christmas tree harvesting business opened its doors in 2018, employs over 20 workers and is expected to grow this season. While awaiting documents to maintain her business’s legal status, the owner realized she might lose her company if she couldn’t track down the necessary paperwork. While her employees and contractors needed to be onsite harvesting the trees a mere four days later, without proper government approval, they would be unable to legally work. Although missing one document might seem like a trivial matter, for the owner and the employees, nothing could be more important.

Luckily, Fuhriman contacted the SBA National Ombudsman, who was able to track down the documents and figure out what needed to be done so the business could continue operations. They worked with an officer at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and get the necessary documents released in one day. This was a business-saving action on the part of the IRS and the Ombudsman. Timely interagency cooperation resulted in the business getting the documents they needed, ensuring the company would be able to continue operating and harvesting trees just in time for the holiday season.

The cooperation between Advocacy and the Ombudsman is a unique small business support system. Advocacy represents small business interests during the rulemaking process and helps ensure agencies consider alternative solutions to lighten small businesses’ regulatory burden. The Ombudsman helps small businesses that are being unfairly or excessively affected by existing regulations. The two offices share a common goal– to create a small business-friendly regulatory environment.

Apollo Fuhriman serves as the Region 10 Advocate for the SBA Office of Advocacy, representing small businesses in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Fuhriman works with small business owners, state and local governments, and small business associations to bring the voice of Region 10 to Washington DC. He can be reached at