As an NFIB member, on occasion, you’ll receive a member survey or ballot asking for your feedback regarding the biggest hurdles you face as a small business owner or asking you to rank certain policy issues from highest to lowest as they affect you and your business.
NFIB doesn’t just send those out to waste your time, or ours. We are strictly a member-driven organization and our legislative agenda and lobbying priorities are based solely off of the results received from you, the small business owner.
On two separate occasions in the last month, NFIB was invited to and took part in providing testimony in front of both the Texas Senate and House regarding the regulatory and tax hurdles small business owners face, as well as what the Legislature could do to help ease those burdens in order to promote small business growth in Texas. Although NFIB already has an extensive research database regarding regulatory burden — it costs small business owners $12,000 per employee, per year on regulatory costs alone, which is 30% higher than what it costs larger businesses; or that federal agencies churn out about 10 new regulations a day — we wanted to hear directly from you.
So, you spoke and we listened. For the last several months, as shown in the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends Survey
, members ranked “Government Regulations and Red Tape” the second biggest issue faced. In the national NFIB Problems and Priorities Report
, members ranked “regulations” as the second biggest issue as well, just behind taxes. Most recently, when the NFIB/Texas office surveyed you, members overwhelming responded that excessive regulations on the local, state and federal level create a sense of uncertainty that restrain your ability to plan for future growth.
Overzealous regulation is a perennial concern for small business owners — debilitating in many cases. When polling the NFIB/Texas members, we found that not one of you demanded a financial incentive or government handout. Instead, you asked just to have the opportunity to own, operate and grow your business without being held down by excessive regulations; to have access to a pool of skilled workers; and to be given the opportunity to compete with the larger businesses instead of having to start ten steps back.
With that sentiment in mind, we implored legislators to think differently. Instead of trying to conjure up new tax incentives or handouts to give small business owners, we asked them to look at reducing the tax burden by eliminating the franchise tax and inventory tax and to look at reducing the regulatory burden on employers in this state. NFIB always asks legislators to “do one less thing” each session. That is, before proposing a new law creating another permitting requirement or regulation, strike one off the books first. Lastly, we ask legislators to look at the indirect cost a new regulation might have on a small business owner. By considering all of NFIB’s suggestions per the feedback of our members, the Legislature could not only help the backbone of this economy succeed but could create and sustain millions of jobs in this state, which would swell the Texas economy.
Be on the lookout for future member surveys, ballots, or alerts. NFIB depends on member feedback to get real solutions at the Capitol. As the voice of small business at the Capitol, we have made real headway informing Legislators that small business owners are the engines that drive our economy, making us all stronger together.