Washington, DC (Press Release – December 7, 2011) – Small business leaders in the Main Street Alliance network sent an open letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives today urging them to oppose three anti-regulatory proposals, slated for consideration on the House floor this week, that threaten the stability of small businesses, their customer base, and local economies. The Regulatory Accountability Act (H.R. 3010), the REINS Act (H.R. 10), and the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act (H.R. 527), while promoted on the pretext of helping small businesses, would ultimately shift greater risks and higher costs from large corporate actors – including Wall Street banks, big polluters, and big insurance companies – onto small businesses.
The Main Street Alliance released the following statements from small business leaders in response to the regulatory rollback proposals:
Kelly Conklin, co-owner of Foley-Waite Associates in Bloomfield, NJ and leader with the New Jersey Main Street Alliance:
“Bills like the Regulatory Accountability Act and the REINS Act are just the next examples of shifting risk and shifting costs from big businesses to small businesses. These bills would gut rules and standards that protect small businesses, the communities where we live and work, and the customers we rely on for our livelihoods.
“I’d like to know, how will rolling back financial standards and allowing another financial crisis help small businesses? How will rolling back environmental rules and allowing another BP spill help small businesses? To hear these proposals being marketed in the name of helping small businesses, it’s just infuriating. This is small business identity theft – using our good name to push an agenda that benefits narrow special interests at our expense.
“Once again the political ambitions of a few are being placed above economic recovery, environmental common sense and the health and safety of small business owners, our employees, and the communities we serve.”
Jim Houser, owner of Hawthorne Auto Clinic in Portland, OR and co-chair of the Main Street Alliance of Oregon:
“These attacks on basic regulatory standards are misguided at best. They completely miss – or ignore – the fact that standards and regulations create jobs and support innovation.
“Just look at my industry, auto repair. In our sector, smart, focused automobile emission standards protect the air we breathe, provide needed employment for the nation’s repair technicians who keep our vehicles running clean, and promote innovations that help U.S. companies be on the cutting edge of new automotive technologies.”
Garry Ault, owner of All Makes Vacuum in Boise, ID and leader with the Idaho Main Street Alliance:
“I’ve been trying to sell my small business and retire for over a year. I had to cut the selling price back to the point where I would make only $1,500 more than I paid for my business in 1980. Why? Because of the policies of the last 20 years that deregulated our financial sector, encouraged reckless gambling on Wall Street, and precipitated the 2008 financial crisis and this Second Great Depression small businesses are struggling to pull through today.
“Deregulation is a scam – it helps the big guys at the little guy’s expense. Our politicians have got to know that by now, and if they do then there’s just no excuse for pushing this agenda that’s going to hurt small businesses even more.”
Melanie Collins, owner of Melanie’s Home Childcare in Falmouth, ME and leader with the Maine Small Business Coalition:
“Deregulation that helps narrow, big business interests – like banks, insurers, and oil companies – has the reverse effect on small businesses, who are the majority of our job creators. Compromising environmental protections and the ability to maintain healthy communities with a healthy customer base is counterproductive to small business job creation and an economically vibrant future.
“What small businesses need are customers – Americans with spending money in their pockets – not deregulation that gives big corporations free reign to cut corners, use their market power at our expense, and force even more small businesses to lay people off and close up shop.”
The Main Street Alliance is a national network of state-based small business coalitions. MSA creates opportunities for small business owners to speak for themselves on issues that impact their businesses and local economies.