One thing all
small business owners have in common is the impact and frustration of dealing
with regulations, red tape, and enforcement by government agencies. In the 2012 edition of “Small Business Problems & Priorities” by the NFIB Research
Foundation, “Unreasonable Government Regulations” ranked as the 5th greatest
problem of concern from small business owners.
Much like taxes, this generic problem category costs small businesses in
several ways: understanding and keeping
up-to-date with compliance requirements, costs of consultants, employee time,
management time, direct outlays, lost productivity and/or sales, forgone opportunities,
etc. The federal government alone
proposes approximately 150 new rules every year that cost business owners over
$100 million per rule in compliance costs.
Adding state and local laws and regulations that sometimes duplicate
federal regulations, merely raise the cost and frustration level for small
Despite this large
regulatory impact, there are important resources available to small business
owners who want a voice in dealing with federal agency regulations. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s
Office of the National Ombudsman assists small businesses facing unfair or
excessive federal regulatory compliance or enforcement issues such as
repetitive audits or investigations, excessive fines, and retaliation.
As an impartial
liaison, the Office of the National Ombudsman directs reported regulatory
fairness matters to the appropriate federal agency for high-level fairness
review and works across government to address those concerns, reduce regulatory
burdens, and help small businesses succeed.
Ombudsman can help small businesses with comments or complaints that directly
involve a federal agency and federal regulation(s). The National Ombudsman also administers and
helps coordinate the activities of the Regional Regulatory Fairness Boards,
comprised of volunteer small business owners, which help connect small
businesses with resources and hears complaints and holds hearings on regulatory
Small businesses that
may wish to comment on the impact of federal regulations or are dealing with an
excessive fine or enforcement effort are encouraged to contact the Office of
the National Ombudsman. A simple online
form can be completed at: www.sba.gov/ombudsman/comment or you may
contact the Office of the National Ombudsman directly via email: [email protected]; Phone:
888-REG-FAIR; Fax: 202-481-5719; or Mail: U.S. Small Business
Administration?Office of the National Ombudsman?409 3rd St., S.W.?Washington,
DC 20416. Connecticut small business
owners with questions or who would like more information may also contact their
local Regulatory Fairness Board representative, Kevin Maloney of Northeast
Express Transportation, Inc.? P.O. Box 549 ?Windsor Locks,
CT 06096 ?Phone: (860) 254-6398?Fax: (860) 254-6393?
E-mail: [email protected].