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Small businesses say regulations are a problem

The National Federation of Independent Business said a new study shows that small business owners say regulations are a “very serious” or “somewhat serious problem.”

In the report released by the NFIB state-specific data was unavailable, however they did find national trends that give an overview of what regulations are doing.

“Our members say regulations can be costly and confusing, and that makes it harder for them to run their business,” said NFIB State Director Ron Aldridge.

The survey showed that 25 percent of small employers have a “very serious problem” and 23 percent have a “somewhat serious problem” with the current regulations.

“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.”

The regulations are affecting businesses of all size. Firms with 20 to 249 employees are struggling the most.

“Some regulations exempt firms with fewer employees,’ said NFIB Research Director Holly Wade. “Regulations are a problem for employers in every size cohort, but the pain gets more intense with more employees. This creates a clear disincentive to add jobs, and over-regulation should be the first consideration for policy makers.”

28 percent of the small employers cit cost as the number one regulation that causes a problem. Others mentioned were understanding how to comply, extra paperwork, and time delays that are caused by regulations.

Other key findings include:

  • The volume of regulations is the largest problem for 55 percent of small employers compared to 37 percent who are most troubled by a few specific regulations coming from one or two sources.
  • One-third of small employers have had a government official enter their place of business to inspect or examine their records and/or licenses or otherwise check on their compliance with some government requirement in the last 12 months. For larger small businesses, 57 percent were visited in the last 12 months compared to 28 percent for the smallest ones.
  • Over the last three years, 41 percent of small employers have contacted a government agency for help complying with a regulation. About 19 percent of those were very satisfied with their experience.
  • Almost one in ten small employers have been fined, sued, or penalized for a regulatory violation in the last three years. Larger businesses are twice as likely to have this occur compared to smaller ones.
  • Twenty percent find that regulations affecting their business have no relevance to safety or consumer protection. Thirty-one percent find them of little or no value for customers or consumers and not worth the cost of compliance.

For a look at the full study click HERE. 

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