House Small Business Committee
The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access will meet for a hearing titled, “The Local Impact of Economic Growth.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, September 27, 2018 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
The Subcommittee will examine how the recent economic expansion is affecting minority-owned small businesses. This hearing will have a particular focus on how regulatory and tax changes have renewed small business optimism and benefited small business owners.Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
Mr. Larry Lopez
Green JobWorks LLC
*Testifying on behalf of Associated Builders and Contractors
Mr. Mansour Azimipour
A&K Development Corporation
Locust Grove, VA
Ms. Brenda Jones Barwick
President and CEO
Jones Public Relations
Oklahoma City, OK
*Testifying on behalf of Women Impacting Public Policy
Ms. Valarie J. Cofield
President and CEO
Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council
The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce will meet for a hearing titled, “Troubled Skies: The Aviation Workforce Shortage's Impact on Small Businesses.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on September 26, 2018 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
The purpose of this Subcommittee hearing is to examine the pilot and mechanic shortage in the aviation industry, in the context of small businesses. A confluence of factors has led to a widening gap between pilots and aviation mechanics leaving and entering the workforce. While the shortage has been widely documented and covered by business experts and journalists, the impact to small businesses operating as part of this pipeline remain unexamined. The hearing will allow the Subcommittee to receive testimony on the negative effects of this aviation workforce shortage on small businesses across the country and identify potential solutions that may help reverse this decline.
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
Mr. Brett Levanto
Vice President of Communications
Aeronautical Repair Station Association
Mr. Jay Mercer
Golden State Air Charter, LLC
Ms. Sarah Oberman Bartush
Chief Marketing Officer & Director of Business Development
WASHINGTON – According to a recent report from the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School and Dun & Bradstreet Q3 2018 Private Capital Access Index, small businesses are finding it easier to acquire capital. More specifically, 53 percent of the small businesses surveyed said they were successful in securing a loan in the past three months.
“Access to capital is critical for small businesses to start and grow their companies. This new report is yet more proof that the economic climate, due to fewer regulations and the tax reform law, is favorable for small business owners. This also comes three months after legislation I introduced, the Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act, became law in June. The law ensures appropriate oversight of the Small Business Administration’s most popular loan program, while also providing certainty to small businesses,” said House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH).
“Small businesses, especially Main Street businesses, have turned a corner and banks have taken notice,” said Nalanda Matia, lead economist at Dun & Bradstreet, in a release. “Funding is flowing to smaller enterprises who are in growth mode.”
WASHINGTON – Last week, the House Committee on Small Business held a full committee hearing on how the opioid crisis is affecting small business, specifically the decline in the labor force participation rate. The discussion included Katie Van Dyke, Director of Cleveland State University’s Ohio Small Business Development Center, as outlined by Cleveland.com below:
“The opioid crisis poses major challenges to small businesses in Ohio as employers in rural and urban areas alike have trouble finding workers who can pass drug tests, the director of Cleveland State University's Ohio Small Business Development center on Thursday told a congressional committee...
“Van Dyke noted that opioid overdose deaths increased 39 percent in Ohio from 2016 to 2017, and many of the deaths were not stereotypical "junkies." She said unintentional drug overdoses that may have started as a prescription for a surgery or injury cost an average of $5.4 million each day in medical and work loss costs in Ohio alone…
“The committee's chairman, Cincinnati-area GOP Rep. Steve Chabot, said many young working age Americans aren't looking for jobs because of opioid addiction, making it harder for businesses to fill important openings. A recent report by the National Safety Council estimated that more than 70 percent of U.S. employers have been affected by prescription drug use, said Chabot.
“Chabot said his committee will use the material it collected at the hearing to examine ways the federal government can help small businesses find ways to help their workers…”Read the full article from Cleveland.com HERE.
WASHINGTON – This week, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) published its proposed rule on the joint-employer standard:
“The NLRB’s decision to restore the joint-employer standard is welcome news for small businesses everywhere. Job creators and innovators deserve certainty that they can continue to operate their businesses locally and independently. The Obama-era scheme jeopardizes small businesses, including franchises and subcontractors. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House to advance a permanent legislative solution for America’s small businesses.”
The proposed rule would roll back the NLRB’s 2015 decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc., which expanded the definition of joint employer, and restored the standard that was in place for over 30 years.
On August 31, 2018, Chairman Chabot and Rep. Cuellar (D-TX) introduced H.R. 6695, the Trademark Licensing Protection Act, which clarifies that controlling a licensed trademark does not create an employment relationship.
In March 2018, Chairman Chabot sent a letter to the then-Chairman of the NLRB, expressing his disappointment in the NLRB’s reinstatement of the harmful Obama-era joint-employer standard.
Chairman Chabot is an original cosponsor of H.R. 3441, the Save Local Business Act, which would reverse the NLRB’s decision in Hy-Brand International Contractors, Ltd. H.R. 3441 passed the House on November 8, 2017.
Small businesses are encouraged to send their comments on regulatory proposals and how they will affect their business to the Federal Register through the Committee’s Regulation Watch page.
The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Now Hiring: How the Opioid Epidemic Affects Small Businesses.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, September 13, 2018 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
The hearing will explore the effects of the opioid crisis on small businesses. Specifically, the hearing will examine the decline in the labor force participation rate due to the epidemic and the challenges that small businesses experience in finding qualified workers as a result.Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
Mr. Ben Gitis
Director of Labor Market Policy
American Action Forum
Ms. Cathy Walsh
Ohio Small Business Development Center
Lakeland Community College
*Testifying on behalf of America’s SBDC
Ms. Lisa Allen
President & CEO
WASHINGTON – Today, the House Committee on Small Business held a hearing to explore the effects of the opioid crisis on small businesses. Specifically, Members examined the decline in the labor force participation rate due to the epidemic and the challenges that small businesses experience in finding qualified workers as a result.
“The American economy is soaring. Significant growth is occurring as we speak and Americans, especially entrepreneurs, are once again optimistic about the future of their businesses,” said Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). “However, many small businesses are now facing a new challenge in finding, hiring, and retaining qualified workers. Many young working age Americans are not working or actively seeking work as a result of opioid addiction, impeding the ability of businesses to fill important job openings. I look forward to using this conversation to examine potential ways to help small businesses find qualified workers to help grow their business.”
What Experts Say About Combating the Opioid Crisis
“While the health and personal consequences of the opioid crisis are apparent, the increase in opioid dependency is also impacting the broader U.S. economy,” said Ben Gitis, Director of Labor Market Policy at American Action Forum. “The U.S. economy depends on prime-age workers because they are among the most productive workers in the labor force. As federal, state, and local policymakers consider ways to grow the economy, boost the labor supply, and support small businesses, addressing the opioid epidemic must be part of the solution.”
“A significant challenge to Ohio’s current business operations – in both the urban or rural communities – is Ohio’s opioid crisis,” said Katie Van Dyke, Director of the Ohio Small Business Development Center at Cleveland State University. “From small businesses struggling to fill needed positions, to Ohioans unable to fulfill their working potential, opioids are a plague on Ohio’s economy. The Ohio SBDC at Lakeland Community College created a workshop called ‘The Opioid Crisis in the Workplace: The Proactive Role Employers Can Take.’ This Workshop was built to be easily replicable for each SBDC in the different counties to offer and customize with local subject matter experts.”
“Drug addiction knows no bounds. Addicts are our sons, our daughters, our mothers and our fathers,” said Lisa Allen, President & CEO of Ziegenfelder Company in Wheeling, WV. “As a company we work with local counselors, social service agencies, our medical community, law enforcement, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and federal probation officers and state parole officers on a case-by-case basis working to employ and assist recovery and reentry.”Click HERE to read full testimonies and HERE to watch full hearing video.
WASHINGTON – Today, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), along with Members of the Committee on Armed Services Mo Brooks (R-AL), Trent Kelly (R-MS), Steve Knight (R-CA), William Shuster (R-PA), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), Walter Jones (R-NC), Bradley Byrne (R-AL), and Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), sent a letter to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council Chair, Ms. Lesley A. Fields, Acting Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at the Office of Management and Budget. The letter expresses concern about lengthy delays by the FAR council in finalizing its rule revising the limitations on subcontracting, as required by Section 1561 of Public Law 112-239, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013.
The letter states:
“Given that nearly six years have lapsed since the 2013 NDAA was signed into law and two since SBA’s final rule was issued, we respectfully request a status update on FAR case Number 2016-011, an estimated timeline of completion, and an explanation as to why this case was changed from an “interim final rule” to a “proposed rule.”
Background: Section 1561 of Public Law 112-239 made significant changes to the limitations on federal subcontracting, which were reflected in corresponding regulations made by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 2016. These changes have not been reflected in the FAR. This discrepancy creates confusion for small contractors and the delay in implementation detrimentally impacts small contractors relying on the application of these revisions to the limitations on subcontracting.
To read the entire letter, click here.
WASHINGTON – According to a new study by Bank of America, women entrepreneurs are optimistic about their future. More specifically, 58 percent of women surveyed believe their revenues will increase next year, up from 44 percent last year. Meanwhile, more than half of women business owners plan to grow their company in the next five years, while 21 percent plan on hiring more workers.
“Every week it seems there is a new survey showing that small business owners are optimistic about their company, the economy, and their future. Almost 85 percent of the women surveyed said improvements in access to capital increased their optimism. I am confident that the Small Business Administration (SBA) lending process will be even stronger after the legislation I introduced, the Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act, became law in June. The new law provides greater certainty for entrepreneurs as they work to obtain a SBA loan, while also strengthening oversight over the SBA’s most popular loan program,” said Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH).
“Access to capital is key to small business growth, but research shows that it can be tougher for women entrepreneurs than for men,” said Sharon Miller, head of Small Business, Bank of America, in the report. “The fact that the overwhelming majority of women business owners see progress in the last 10 years is encouraging. Bank of America intends to do our part to keep the momentum going by continuing to support and lend to women-owned businesses because their talents, ideas and leadership in the marketplace are essential.”
According to the SBA Office of Advocacy, women own more than 11 million businesses in the United States and employ almost 9 million workers.
WASHINGTON – Last week, Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) sent follow-up letters to the heads of three federal agencies requesting further information on small entity compliance guide reporting as required by Section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA).
“Small businesses deserve transparency from the federal government and for their voices to be heard in the federal rulemaking process. It is imperative that all federal agencies comply with the law by producing these documents to the Committee, so we can understand the unique effects of regulations on small businesses,” said Chairman Chabot.
Background: Section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Enforcement Fairness Act requires federal agencies to publish a small entity compliance guide for every rule that has a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The law also requires the agencies to report annually to Congress on their compliance with this section; however, the Committee has found that very few agencies have been adhering to the provision of SBREFA since it was amended in 2007.
In May, the Committee sent letters to 135 agencies and sub-agencies asking these federal agencies to adhere to federal law by complying with Section 212. As of September 7, 2018, three agencies have not complied with the Committee’s request for information.
To view the letter sent to the Honorable Alex M. Azar II, Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, click here.
To view the letter sent to the Honorable Rick Perry, Secretary of the United States Department of Energy, click here.
To view the letter sent to the Honorable Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior, click here.
WASHINGTON – Today, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) released its Small Business Optimism Index from August, which marks a new record high in the survey’s 45-year history.
“With small business optimism at the highest its been in 45 years, it’s clear that Americans are prospering, and small businesses are thriving. These historic gains are proof that the new tax law and a reduction in regulations are significantly driving our economic gains. I look forward to seeing continued growth in our economy,” said Chairman Chabot (R-OH).
According to the report:
- New records were set for both job creation plans and unfilled job openings.
- August tied with May 2018 numbers noting the percentage of small business owners saying it is a good time to expand.
- Inventory investment plans were the strongest since 2005 and capital spending plans the highest since 2007.
For the full NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, click here.
WASHINGTON – Today, House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement after the United States Department of Labor reported that 201,000 jobs were created in August, with wages up 2.9 percent for the year, the largest increase since June 2009.“Our economy is going full speed ahead, as evidenced by today’s jobs report released by the Department of Labor. With the unemployment rate remaining near historic lows of 3.9 percent and 201,000 jobs added in August, we are seeing the effects of the tax law and a reduction in regulations. In fact, small business owner’s optimism levels are among the highest in history. It is not just more jobs, but better jobs as wages increased by 2.9 percent from last year, putting more money in hardworking Americans’ pockets. I look forward to more growth from small businesses on Main Street,” said Chairman Chabot (R-OH).
WASHINGTON – This week, the Small Business Administration (SBA) Great Lakes Regional Administrator Rob Scott wrote an op-ed for the Pike County News Watchman sharing how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has directly benefited the almost one million small businesses in Ohio.
“Thanks to the recent federal tax cut, local business owners are making investments in their businesses and employees by raising wages, increasing benefits and purchasing equipment to grow their businesses and create new jobs.
The owner of a manufacturing business in Columbus is expanding operations by investing in new equipment and adding eight to 10 additional jobs for disadvantaged workers in the area.
In Cincinnati, a healthcare business owner was able to purchase a building that he had been leasing for 17 years, a decision influenced by the tax cut. The owner also plans to give his employees bonuses and raise wages for field staff,” said Rob Scott.
“By creating a favorable environment for small businesses to thrive, we are improving entrepreneurs’ chances for success and strengthening Ohio’s economic outlook. Small business owners are more optimistic about their companies’ success, leading to more jobs, higher wages and increased sales and profits”
To read the full article, click HERE.
WASHINGTON – Today, House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Labor released figures indicating the lowest filings for unemployment benefits in five decades.
“With productivity on the rise and unemployment claims at a 49-year low, it is evident that small businesses are experiencing the ripple effect our economy is creating,” said Chairman Chabot (R-OH). “Through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, not only are small businesses able to provide higher wages and benefits to their employees, but they are also able to reinvest their funds to create better opportunities for their firms and the millions of Americans they employ. Optimism is also on the rise, thanks to the Administration’s deregulation efforts, and more workers are being added to the workforce as a result of the demand from the new tax law.”
Last week, the Q3 Metlife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index released a survey revealing that small business owners are optimistic about their companies and the overall small business environment.In addition, on July 25, the Committee held a hearing in which small business owners praised the recent tax cuts and expressed optimism about the overall economy.
The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Surveying Storms: A Deeper Dive into SBA’s Disaster Response.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
This hearing will examine the United States Small Business Administration’s (SBA) disaster response. Members of the Committee will hear directly from the SBA regarding the agency’s actions during the 2017 storm season and SBA’s disaster response moving forward.Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
Mr. James Rivera
Office of Disaster Assistance
United States Small Business Administration
WASHINGTON – Today, the House Committee on Small Business held a hearing to examine the Small Business Administration's (SBA) actions during the 2017 storm season and the SBA’s disaster response moving forward.
"The 2017 storm season, by all accounts, was historic. As we know, SBA plays a large role in the long-term recovery needs for the United States,” said Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). “[SBA’s] Disaster Loan Program, which provides fixed-term and low-interest direct loans to victims is vital for businesses and homeowners as they begin to replace, repair, and rebuild. Given that we are roughly a year out from those massive and damaging storms making landfall, it is imperative that we spend time reviewing SBA’s response efforts. Victims of storms count on SBA and their response during their darkest days.”
Gaining Insight from SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance
"SBA’s disaster assistance mission is to provide affordable, timely and accessible financial assistance following a declared disaster to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations as well as homeowners and renters,” said James Rivera, Associate Administrator of SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. “We firmly believe that reforms we instituted enabled us to be better prepared to respond to the 2017 Hurricane Season, and we are implementing further changes to improve our 2018 efforts. Administrator McMahon had pushed us to be ready for the 2017 season, and I am proud of the hard work and many long hours put in by our Office of Disaster Assistance staff.”Click HERE to read the full testimony, and HERE to watch the hearing.
WASHINGTON – House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) recently introduced H.R. 6695, the Trademark Licensing Protection Act of 2018, which clarifies that licensing trademarks, and controlling or exercising those trademarks, do not create an employment relationship.
“In an effort to strengthen the protections of small businesses, especially franchisees, we must ensure that the millions of Americans they employ have the provisions and protections they need available to them without risking being considered a joint employer. It’s imperative that Congress restores a common-sense definition of an employer and provides certainty to America’s job creators,” said Chairman Steve Chabot.
“As a former small business owner, I understand that operating a small business is a fundamental pillar of the American dream, and the franchise business model is a great way for aspiring entrepreneurs to achieve this goal,” Rep. Henry Cuellar said. “We must ensure that our franchise owners receive fair treatment instead of confusing and arbitrary regulations that hinder them. The Trademark Licensing Protection Act will provide our nation’s small and franchise businesses the certainty necessary to grow and invest in the future of their employees. I thank Chairman Chabot for his work on this bill and I encourage my colleagues from both parties to support local businesses by supporting this legislation.”
“Franchise businesses are in a Catch-22,” said Matt Haller, IFA’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations & Public Affairs. “They are at once required to maintain standards and possibly liable for efforts to maintain them. This bill can clarify these competing standards to allow for franchise businesses to grow, train workers, and strengthen local economies. Franchisees and franchisors continue to face significant legal and compliance costs, resulting in a chilling effect on economic growth and support for existing franchisees since the joint employer uncertainty began. We applaud Chairman Chabot and Rep. Cuellar for continuing their leadership in seeking a solution to this issue for the franchise sector.”
Background: For more than 30 years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) used one standard to determine whether two separate businesses were joint employers. In 2015, the Obama-era NLRB abandoned this standard. The ambiguity of the new standard threatens small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Chairman Chabot is an original cosponsor of H.R. 3441, the Save Local Business Act, to reverse the NLRB’s decision expanding the definition of the joint employer standard. H.R. 3441 passed the House on November 8, 2017.
The Committee first held a roundtable in April 2015 on the issue. In March 2016, the Committee held a hearing titled, “Risky Business: Effects of New Joint Employer Standards for Small Firms” to examine the negative impact of the rule on small businesses. In May 2018, Code Ninjas LLC of Pearland, Texas, testified at a Small Business Committee hearing on behalf of the International Franchise Association.
WASHINGTON – Today, President Trump signed an executive order to make it easier for small business owners to create and offer retirement plans for their employees.
“Today’s Executive Order is a move in the right direction for small businesses by allowing owners an affordable way to offer retirement plans to their workers. Currently, owners could only team up to create 401 (k) plans if they were in the same industry, making it too expensive for many. With that burden removed it would become an affordable option for small businesses, benefiting their companies and employees,” said Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH).
Specifically, the Executive Order asks the Department of Labor to permit the joint offering of 401ks, requests the Department of the Treasury to review its rules for mandatory distributions from retirement savings accounts, and asks that the Labor and Treasury Departments consider ways to reduce paperwork and administrative burdens that can keep small businesses from offering retirement plans.
In April, the Committee held a hearing looking at retirement plans and the burdens placed on small businesses.
WASHINGTON – According to the Q3 Metlife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index released this week, small business owners are optimistic about their companies as well as the small business environment overall.
“This survey is great news, but not surprising. The strong economy added to the tax reform package and greater access to capital is creating an environment where small businesses can thrive. As their companies grow, small business owners are more optimistic about the future and we’re only going to see our economy continue to get stronger,” said Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH).
Almost 70 percent of the small business owners surveyed reported being confident about their companies. The rise in optimism reflects a positive national economic outlook and denotes the survey’s highest levels in history.
On July 25, the Committee also held a hearing where small business owners praised the recent tax cuts and the overall economy.
“The recent tax reduction in and of itself will have a positive impact on our employees and our business in 2018 and beyond. But when augmented by reduction in regulation and, most importantly, the hugely positive outlook by business leaders and consumers which started the day after the 2016 election, the resulting booming economy takes that positive impact of the tax bill and increases it exponentially,” said Mr. Gary Ellerhorst, President and CEO of Crown Plastics Co. in Harrison, OH.
WASHINGTON – Today, Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Subcommittee Chairmen Rod Blum (R-IA), and Dave Brat (R-VA) sent a letter to the Honorable Sonny Perdue, Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), urging USDA to utilize the Committee’s findings from previous hearings to help rural America increase access to capital, improve quality of life, advance rural workforce development, and progress technological innovation.
“Ensuring the prosperity of rural America is vital to our nation’s long term economic vitality. Although many of our nation’s largest cities are creating new businesses at an impressive rate, and economic growth is strong nationally, startup rates, capital access, and economic vitality lag in rural America. The House Small Business Committee is actively examining the challenges facing rural small business owners, especially as they pertain to access to capital. I’m proud we’re working to ensure obstacles are removed so rural small businesses can start and grow, and we hope to work together to ensure rural America’s economic vitality for decades to come.”
Background: Last month, the Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access and the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade met for a joint hearing titled, “Investing in Rural America.”
Additionally, USDA is continuing to improve the economic growth of rural America through their Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Task Force.To read the entire letter, click here.