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Regulations cost time and money. Small business owners tell us this constantly. Excessive regulations are one of their major hurdles to growth and hiring. While small business owners know this from real-world experience, statistics back them up. Mounting regulations total 80,000 new pages a year. That led House Republicans to a simple solution. Let’s just call time out. Press pause. Let the economy recover.
So the House of Representatives did just that, voting to call a halt to all non-emergency regulations until the unemployment rate is back down to 6 percent. It’s a great idea. The unemployment rate has been at least 8 percent for 41 straight weeks. If the Senate joins us to take a break from new regulations, this step will genuinely help small businesses. In a recent survey, 78 percent of owners of small firms said the tax and regulatory burden makes it harder to hire. The burden of regulatory costs on small firms is 36 percent higher than on larger businesses. It makes sense. Bigger businesses are more likely to be better equipped with expert staff and lawyers that cut through red tape. Small business owners are often going it alone, and it’s a massive drain on their time and budgets.
When owners invest in their small businesses, it stimulates the economy more than the federal government ever could. Keep telling us about the businesses you’ve built right here at our Small Biz Open Mic.
On Wednesday, a Committee hearing highlighted successful small business strategies in a recession. Despite the tough economy, some small businesses have survival strategies well worth sharing. The Committee examined their business models and adaptability during the recession. Small firms – still our chief job creators – were hit hard during the economic downturn, and continue to face significant challenges in the sluggish economy. In the recession of 2007-2009, 40 percent of the overall jobs lost were from small businesses. This contrasts with just 10 percent in the 2001 economic setback. Small business owners described their best practices to the Committee, including reducing costs, diversifying portfolios, capitalizing on emerging industries and fostering innovation.
On Thursday, the Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade held a hearing on the impact of foreign trade practices that are harmful to family farms. Some foreign markets are known to misuse non-tariff food requirements intended to protect health and safety, known as sanitary and phytosanitary measures. Nations can rightly ban products that are unsafe, but in too many instances foreign nations have wrongly used these measures to merely gain an unfair competitive advantage for their own agriculture industries, despite trade agreements.
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