NFIB Supports H.R. 358 to Protect Small Businesses from Regulatory Burdens


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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the leading small business advocacy organization, has sent a letter to Congress supporting H.R. 358, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act (SBRFIA). This legislation is designed to make sure federal agencies fully consider the impact of regulations on small businesses. H.R. 358 targets the elimination of loopholes in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), improving protection for small businesses against burdensome regulations.

Josh McLeod, NFIB Director of Federal Government Relations, emphasized the importance of this legislation, stating, “Small businesses have been inundated with a tsunami of new regulatory burdens. The current regulatory environment is not sustainable for small businesses, but this legislation is a good first step in lessening those burdens on Main Street. The Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvement Act will make sure government regulators are fully accounting for the economic impact of regulations. This will help provide a smarter rulemaking process for small businesses and NFIB urges Congress to pass this important legislation.”

H.R. 358 is designed to expand the small business advocacy review panel process, strengthening the requirements for agencies to review regulations. It also gives the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy increased input into agency compliance with the RFA. This ensures that the voices of small businesses are heard during the rulemaking process, providing a more balanced regulatory environment.

The Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act builds on the foundation of the original Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) of 1980. The RFA was designed to make sure that federal agencies consider the impact of their regulations on small entities, including small businesses, non-profit organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. However, over the years, numerous loopholes have emerged, allowing agencies to bypass some of the RFA’s requirements.

H.R. 358 seeks to close these loopholes by requiring agencies to provide a more thorough analysis of the economic impacts of proposed regulations. This includes considering direct, indirect, and cumulative effects on small businesses. The act also mandates more rigorous periodic reviews of existing regulations to determine their continued necessity and impact on small entities.

A key component of the SBRFIA is the expansion of the small business advocacy review panel process. These panels, often referred to as SBREFA panels, are tasked with gathering input from small businesses on proposed regulations. By expanding this process, H.R. 358 seeks to make sure that small business concerns are considered early in the regulatory process, potentially preventing overly burdensome regulations from being implemented.

Additionally, the SBRFIA enhances the role of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. This office is charged with representing the interests of small businesses within the federal government. Under H.R. 358, the Office of Advocacy will have increased authority to make sure that agencies comply with the RFA. This includes reviewing agency proposals and providing feedback on their potential impacts on small businesses.

The NFIB has also issued a White Paper on the RFA, detailing the importance of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the shortcomings in its implementation by administrative agencies, and recommendations for Congress to strengthen the RFA. The White Paper highlights the critical need for reforms like those proposed in H.R. 358 to protect small businesses from unnecessary regulatory burdens.

By supporting the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, the NFIB aims to create a more favorable regulatory environment for small businesses, making sure that their concerns are adequately considered in the federal rulemaking process. This legislation represents a step toward reducing the regulatory burden on small businesses, fostering a more sustainable and competitive economic landscape for Main Street enterprises.

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Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 9 years. He currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.