Regulations continue to suffocate the small business economy, but NFIB is pushing Congress to start improving conditions.
Enough is enough.
Regulations have hampered small business owners for years, and NFIB is calling on legislators to take action. In conjunction with the release of new NFIB regulatory research, Holly Wade, director of research and policy analysis for NFIB’s Research Foundation, testified before the House Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access about the burdens of regulations on small business owners on Feb. 16.
“Over the past 10 years, small business owners have struggled to bounce back from the great recession,” Wade said in her opening statement. “The economic recovery has been painfully slow for many, at first due to poor sales but quickly overtaken by issues related to taxes, regulations, and the cost of health insurance.”
The regulatory impact cuts wide: Nearly 50 percent of respondents in NFIB’s new report identified regulations as being a serious problem, with 25 percent saying it’s “very serious.”
“The primary step in developing pro-growth policies is to first, ‘do no harm,’ especially when it comes to artificially increasing the cost of doing business, whether in the form of higher taxes, health insurance costs, or more regulations, to name a few,” Wade said.
The regulatory burden has only grown over the years. Back in 2012, regulations were the fifth greatest concern to small business owners. But regulations moved up to the second most pressing problem in 2016, according to NFIB’s Small Business Problems & Priorities report.
“Small business owners are drowning in regulations imposed by every level of government,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “It’s a major problem affecting millions of businesses, and the federal government is the biggest contributor.”
Twenty-eight percent of small business owners cited compliance costs as their biggest regulations obstacle, according to NFIB’s new research. Other regulatory hurdles small business owners said they faced were compliance understanding (18 percent), extra paperwork (17 percent), and time delays caused by regulations (10 percent).
“Small business owners are in great position to invest in and grow their business given the right set of policies,” Wade said. “Most attention must be paid to the benefits of regulation that use up valuable human and financial capital.”