About

Purpose

The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration is the independent voice for small business within the federal government, the watchdog of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and a source of small business statistics and research. Advocacy advances the views and concerns of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts, and state policymakers.

You can read more through the Advocacy Brochure.

Background

Advocacy was created by Congress in 1976 to be the independent voice for small business within the federal government. The office is led by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy, who is appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The office relies on economic research, policy analysis, and small business outreach to identify issues of small business concern. Twelve regional and national advocates around the country and an independent office in Washington, D.C., support the Chief Counsel’s efforts.

The Background Paper on the Office of Advocacy, which includes the report and the appendix, is a resource for stakeholders that includes a history of Advocacy and provides extensive reference materials. It is the most comprehensive single publication on the office.

Economic Research

The office’s publications include “Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories,” “Frequently Asked Questions about Small Business,” and research studies on small business finance, demographics, income, and other topics. The office also commissions detailed data on small business from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Regulation

Since 1980, Advocacy has worked with federal agencies to avoid excessive regulatory burdens on small businesses. Advocacy’s role in rulemaking is based on the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980. This law requires agencies to consider alternative ways of reducing the economic impact of their regulations on small entities. Advocacy’s efforts to have agencies comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act have saved small businesses billions of dollars in regulatory costs.

Regulatory Reform

In January 2017, Advocacy refocused its regulatory efforts, as Executive Orders 13771 and 13777 directed federal agencies to reduce and reform regulations. These executive orders offer significant opportunities for regulatory relief targeted to small businesses. To educate federal agencies about the rules that small businesses want to see reformed, Advocacy launched a nationwide initiative, the Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables. These information gathering events take place around the country, and they involve small businesses, federal agency officials, Advocacy headquarters staff, and regional advocates. Advocacy also gathers input on regulation through an online comment form on the website.

Regional Outreach

The office has regional advocates in each of the 10 federal regions plus a national rural affairs advocate and a manufacturing and technology advocate. These individuals interact with small businesses, state and local governments, chambers of commerce, and many other groups. Their outreach is a critical part of Advocacy’s effective representation of small business viewpoints.