Small Biz Voter Brief: Regulation

Date: September 07, 2016

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Small business owners consistently cite regulations as a barrier to growth

For Immediate Release
Andrew Wimer, 202-314-2073 or 703-298-5938 (cell)
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Washington, DC (September 7, 2016) – According to the National Federation of Independent Business’s (NFIB) monthly Index of Small Business Optimism, small business owners have ranked red tape and regulations as one of the top two problems for 44 straight months. Small business owners suffer disproportionately from new government rules, but they are often an afterthought as agencies go through the regulatory process.

“Small business owners don’t have armies of lawyers, accountants, and compliance specialists to help them navigate the maze of government regulations,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “In constructing some of the biggest regulations of the past few years, bureaucrats have simply denied that small businesses would be affected. Small business is critical to the economy, if regulators don’t listen, new rules will smother growth.”

Below are a few of the many rules and regulations identified by NFIB members as top concerns:

Health Reimbursement – Many small businesses struggle to purchase health insurance for their employees. For years, many small business owners offered employees reimbursements when they purchased insurance on the open market. New Obamacare regulations made this practice illegal, with a penalty higher than the amount imposed on large businesses for not providing any health insurance at all.  The IRS penalty on small businesses that reimburse workers for health insurance is $100 per employee, per day. Legislation to correct this injustice has passed the House and is awaiting consideration in the Senate.

Visit NFIB.com for more on this penalty.

Waters of the United States – Changes to the Clean Water Act proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps could effectively expand federal regulation to almost any body of water in the U.S., even streams that are dry most of the time. Almost any improvement on lands regulated by the Act could require expensive and time consuming permits. In developing the rule, the EPA and Army Corps ignored the Regulatory Flexibility Act, which requires them to certify that small businesses would face no additional costs from the rule change.

In the USA Today, NFIB Sr. Manager of Regulatory Policy Dan Bosch noted that, “The process was rigged in favor of the agencies, who simply decided that they didn’t even need to consider the effects on small business.” The NFIB Small Business Legal Center is challenging the rule in federal court and NFIB has encouraged Congress to stop the rule from being implemented.

Clean Power Plan – The typical small business operates with tight margins. Any unexpected or sudden cost increase can have a serious impact on a small employer and their employees. The Clean Power Plan requires states to replace coal-based electricity with costlier alternatives.  Even the EPA estimates higher electricity costs as a result. The NFIB Small Business Legal Center has joined the lawsuit seeking to stop the Clean Power Plan, returning power to Congress where it belongs.

See this release, for more on why small businesses are concerned with this expansion of federal power.

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