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Graves' Statement on Tax Day and the Small Business Tax Burden

House Small Business Committee News - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 12:00am
Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) today released the following statement on Tax Day and the effects of tax policies on small businesses:

“Every year, the tax burden becomes more costly for America’s 28 million small businesses. The tax code is increasingly complicated and changes often. Most small businesses spend 40 hours or more preparing their taxes, and four out of ten businesses spend two full workweeks on compliance. That is a high cost in lost time and productivity for a small business. One in three small firms spends $10,000 on compliance. Jobs are still scarce, and the combined burdens of complex taxes and high rates are obstacles to growth. The jobs-stifling tax code is not just a Tax Day problem for small companies, but a year-round burden on their budgets that can impact their entrepreneurial decisions. Small businesses overwhelmingly support sensible reforms for lower rates, simpler preparation and clearer guidelines.”

Last week, the Small Business Committee examined these very challenges for small businesses. The growing number of tax provisions means that owners must spend significant resources on compliance that could otherwise be spent growing their companies. According to the Internal Revenue Service’s own National Taxpayer Advocate, there were over 500 changes to the tax code in 2010 alone, an average of more than one per day. And the steep tax rates mean small firms have less capital to invest back into hiring or expanding.

The National Small Business Association released a survey on April 9, 2014, in conjunction with the testimony of NSBA member Tim Reynolds, a small business executive. The growing complexity of the tax process causes 86 percent of small businesses to pay tax preparers.

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Transportation Security Administration Oversight: Confronting America's Transportation Security Challenges

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today announced the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a hearing on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. titled, “Transportation Security Administration Oversight: Confronting America’s Transportation Security Challenges.” This hearing will examine the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) efforts to implement new procedures to confront the evolving security threats to America’s transportation systems.

FDA Issues Proposed Rule to Deem Tobacco Products

Office of Advocacy - 3 hours 12 min ago
Page summary: 

On April 24, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products issued a proposed rule that would deem formerly unregulated products as “tobacco products” subject to FDA regulation under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009. 

On April 24, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products issued a proposed rule that would deem formerly unregulated products as “tobacco products” subject

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Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

Thursday’s Thoughts on Leadership: More Great Questions For Every Entrepreneur

InteroMojo - 3 hours 19 min ago

Today, I’m sharing with you numbers 21-30 of the 100 great questions every entrepreneur should ask from the Inc.com article.

  1. Who, on the executive team or the board, has spoken to a customer recently? -James Champy, author and management expert
  2. Did my employees make progress today? -Teresa Amabile, author and Harvard Business School professor. Amabile explains, “Forward momentum in employees’ work has the greatest positive impact on their motivation.”
  3. What one word do we want to own in the minds of our customers, employees, and partners? -Matthew May, author and innovation expert. May explains, “This deceptively simple question creates utter clarity inside and outside a company. It is incredibly difficult for most people to answer and difficult to get consensus on–even at the highest levels. Apple = different. Toyota = quality. Google = search. It’s taken me three years to get one of my clients, Edmunds.com, to find and agree on their word: trust.”
  4. What should we stop doing? -Peter Drucker, management expert and author
  5. What are the gaps in my knowledge and experience? -Charles Handy, author and management expert
  6. What am I trying to prove to myself, and how might it be hijacking my life and business success? -Bob Rosen, executive coach and author
  7. If we got kicked out and the board brought in a new CEO, what would he do? -Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel. In 1985, with the company’s memory-chip business under siege, CEO Grove famously posed this hypothetical to Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, leading them to ditch memory for microprocessors.
  8. If I had to leave my organization for a year and the only communication I could have with employees was a single paragraph, what would I write? -Pat Lencioni, author and founder of The Table Group. Lencioni explains, “Determining the substance of this paragraph forces you to identify the company’s core values and strategies, and the roles and responsibilities of those hypothetically left behind.”
  9. Who have we, as a company, historically been when we’ve been at our best? -Keith Yamashita, author and founder of SYPartners
  10. What do we stand for–and what are we against? -Scott Goodson, co-founder of StrawberryFrog

 

Categories: Latest News

Definition of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA)

Office of Advocacy - 5 hours 35 min ago
Page summary: 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) have proposed a rule defining the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  This proposal would set forth several categories of waters to be included in the definition as well as establish waters that are subject to the act.  The comment period closes July 21, 2014.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S.

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Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

GSA Announces Open Dialogue on Improving Federal Procurement

Office of Advocacy - 5 hours 38 min ago
Page summary: 

GSA Announces Open Dialogue on Improving Federal Procurement .  The Chief Acquisition Officers Council (CAOC), in coordination with the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council), the Chief Information Officers Council (CIOC), the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), is conducting an open dialogue to discuss improvements to the federal acquisition process. 

GSA Announces Open Dialogue on Improving Federal Procurement .  The Chief Acquisition Officers Council (CAOC), in coordination with the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council), th

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Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

New-Home Sales Down in March

News Releases from NAHB - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 6:46am
Press Release

‘Waters of the U.S.' Rule Burdens Small Business: House Committee

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 12:00am
‘Waters of the U.S.' Rule Burdens Small Business: House Committee
Bloomberg Government

 

On its website to alert small businesses to burdensome federal regulations, the House Small Business Committee added April 23 the recently proposed rule that would assert Clean Water Act jurisdiction over the nation's waters and wetlands.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jointly proposed a rule, published April 21, that would bring under federal jurisdiction all tributaries of streams, lakes, ponds and impoundments, as well as wetlands that affect the chemical, physical and biological integrity of larger, navigable downstream waters. The agencies plan to accept comment on the proposed rule until July 21.

The Committee started the regulatory alert website, Small Biz Reg Watch, in February 2013 to inform small businesses about pending environmental and other federal regulations and provide them a direct link for submitting comments on such rules.

Since the inception of the website, the focus has expanded from six to 23 regulations that are open for comment, including the EPA's regulations for greenhouse gas emissions, agriculture worker protection from pesticides and performance standards for new residential wood heaters.

 

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House Panel Says ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Proposal is Burdensome to Small Business

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 12:00am
House Panel Says ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Proposal is Burdensome to Small Business
By Amena H. Saiyid, Bloomberg Government

 

The House Small Business Committee April 23 added the recently proposed rule that would clarify Clean Water Act jurisdiction over the nation's waters and wetlands to its website alerting small businesses to burdensome federal regulations.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jointly proposed a rule April 21 that would bring under federal jurisdiction all tributaries of streams, lakes, ponds and impoundments, as well as wetlands that affect the chemical, physical and biological integrity of larger, navigable downstream waters. The agencies are accepting comment on the proposed rule until July 21 (79 Fed. Reg. 2,218; 77 DER A-13, 4/22/14).

“The EPA and Corps are proposing to expand the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act to include nearly every damp patch of land in the United States,” Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) said in a statement.

Graves termed the proposed rule a “regulatory overreach,” saying this “means small businesses and landowners may need costly permits and face lengthy delays for ordinary activities on private property.”

Small Biz Reg Watch Website

The committee started the regulatory alert website, Small Biz Reg Watch, in February 2013 to inform small businesses of pending environmental and other federal regulations and provide them with a direct link for submitting comments to the committee on such rules (23 DER A-22, 2/4/13).

Since the inception of the Website, the focus has expanded from six to 23 regulations open for comment, including the EPA's regulations for greenhouse gas emissions, agriculture worker protection from pesticides and standards for new residential wood heaters.

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Kline, Walberg Statement on Respirable Coal Dust

Education & the Workforce Committee - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 12:00am

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Workforce Protections Subcommittee Chairman Tim Walberg (R-MI) today released the following joint statement after the Department of Labor announced a final rule concerning respirable coal dust: 

For too long a flawed regulatory process has stymied efforts to provide stronger black lung protections. No miner should go to work without the best standards in place to guard against this deadly disease. And there is no good reason why industry, labor, and MSHA can’t come together to find agreement on what those safety standards should be. 

While we intend to carefully review the regulation, today’s announcement should not be the end of this important discussion. No doubt stakeholders will continue to raise concerns with the new rules and offer ideas for improvement. We strongly urge the administration to engage those affected by the regulation, to guarantee the best tools, technologies, and practices are present in every mine. Only then can we ensure every miner is safe from the threat of black lung.  

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Graves Alerts Small Businesses to Another EPA Power Grab

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 12:00am
House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) today added a new proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to the Committee’s digital resource, Small Biz Reg Watch. The proposed rule broadens the scope of waters subject to the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act (CWA), which has many small business owners and family farmers concerned. 

The EPA and the Corps are proposing to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” which are those waters subject to the requirements of the CWA. The proposed rule, as currently drafted, will lead to an unprecedented expansion of federal regulatory jurisdiction. Under this expansive proposed rule, all tributaries – even small streams that only flow irregularly or when it rains – and all adjacent waters and wetlands, fall under this definition as federally-controlled waters. This includes small, temporary bodies of water, such as ditches, that may be dry for much of the year. In addition, the agencies could assert CWA jurisdiction over “other waters” on a case-by-case basis.

“The EPA and Corps are proposing to expand the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act to include nearly every damp patch of land in the United States,” said Chairman Graves. “This regulatory overreach means small businesses and landowners may need costly permits and face lengthy delays for ordinary activities on private property. Projects may need to be redesigned or relocated to satisfy federal regulators. Worse, permit applications may be denied. This extraordinary intrusion into the lives of many farmers, ranchers and small business owners has the likely potential to be economically devastating and must be stopped.”

Through the "Small Biz Reg Watch" initiative, the Committee regularly highlights new agency proposed rules that may have a significant effect on small businesses. The Committee also communicates with small businesses via email and social media when new comment periods begin for select proposed rules that have a significant impact on a wide array of small businesses. The Committee recently changed and upgraded the Reg Watch format to better serve small businesses. That updated website URL is: http://smallbusiness.house.gov/resources/reg-watch.htm.

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Leading the Way: Adapting to South Florida's Changing Coastline

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Science and Space will hold a hearing at the Miami Beach City Hall on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. titled, “Leading the Way: Adapting to South Florida’s Changing Coastline”. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) will chair this hearing on the 44th anniversary of Earth Day. The hearing will provide an overview of climate science analyses conducted by federal agencies, and by Florida universities, that inform state and local government adaptation plans. Witnesses will discuss the economic impacts of climate change to Florida’s tourism and insurance industries, as well as efforts to reduce the carbon emissions that drive climate change. Florida has recorded between five and eight inches of sea level rise in the past 50 years. Due to climate change, Florida could experience up to three feet of sea level rise by 2100. The impacts of flooding, saltwater intrusion, and land erosion on Florida’s coastal habitats and economies have prompted local governments to action. Sen. Nelson will lead the discussion on the steps already underway and explore potential new solutions to these growing problems.

Conflict Minerals, COOL, and Compelled Commercial Speech at the D.C. Circuit

WLF Legal Pulse - Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:29pm
Two decisions issued a little over two weeks apart by separate U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit three-judge panels have created significant uncertainty on a critically important First Amendment issue. The court’s forthcoming actions in these cases will have a major impact on government regulation and on regulated industries as diverse as livestock, […]
Categories: Latest News

Monday Morning Mojo: The Sea Otter

InteroMojo - Mon, 04/21/2014 - 7:45am

After putting on full body armor and getting on a bike that resembles something from a Sci-Fi movie, he took off out of the starting gate.  My 16 year old son, Tommy, takes off attacking the track, flying through the air, going over boulders and around turns like they don’t even exist. He is FEARLESS and does it EFFORTLESSLY.  This past weekend I took Tommy to race his downhill mountain bike at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey.  It is a huge biking event attended by over 60,000 people from around the world.   It is pretty amazing to see all of those biking enthusiasts and vendors in one place.

Downhill mountain biking for those of you who have not done it before is gnarly to say the least.  I have done it a couple of times with Tommy up in Tahoe, but when I did it, unlike Tommy, I was everything but fearless and effortless.  I squeezed the hand grips like I was trying to strangle them and the only thing that was going through my head was my mortality. “Just don’t crash.”  Fortunately, with the exception of a few sore muscles and minor crashes, I am happy to say I have not experienced any major wipe outs or broken bones downhilling. The funny thing is my son very rarely ever crashes.  And when he does, he brushes himself off, gets right back on the bike and lets it rip again.

So what is the lesson of this extreme sport? Attack whatever you do with Passion, Fearlessly and Effortlessly. If you do, you will do better, go faster, suffer fewer setbacks and reach your full potential. When we are young our lives are all about growing and going for it. It is all about new unfamiliar experiences. Every day you wake up as a kid you are being pushed and encouraged by your parents, teachers, coaches and mentors to go for it. However, at some point in life, society puts the brakes on all of this growing and going for it. It plants the “play it safe, don’t go for it, what if you can’t” in our brains. All too often as we get older we let our fears and caution hold us back from CRUSHING IT! Unlike a kid we get too worried about what happens if things don’t work out instead of focusing on what will happen if they do.

As we know, what we focus on expands.  So if we hold back and worry about what will happen if things don’t work out, we will experience major wipe outs and broken bones. On the other hand if we attack with fearlessness and do it effortlessly, we will fly and CRUSH IT!  The million dollar question is how do we do go back to having the mindset of a kid? How do we go back to being FEARLESS?   Start with spending more time with kids and with people who go against the status quo. Spend time with risk takers, people that go for it and attack life. Remember we are the average of the people we spend the majority of our time with. Be aware of who you are spending your time with. Make it a great week as you attack the downhill mountain biking tracks of your life.

Categories: Latest News

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