WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) today called on small business owners to weigh in on regulations enforced by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  The SBA today opened the comment period requesting information from the public to assist the agency in reviewing its existing regulations to determine whether they should be streamlined, expanded, or withdrawn.  Senator Snowe, the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, underscored the need for all Federal agencies to review regulations to identify potential impact on small businesses.  Earlier this month, Senator Snowe, along with Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), introduced a bill to reduce onerous federal regulations imposed on small businesses.  The Snowe-Coburn Small Business Regulatory Freedom Act would require all Federal agencies to calculate the direct and indirect economic impact of federal regulations and allow more flexible review periods.

“Excessive regulations are suffocating the entrepreneurial spirit of America’s almost 30 million small businesses and, regrettably, small firms with fewer than 20 employees bear a disproportionate burden of complying with these rules,” said Senator Snowe.  “To spur job creation and economic growth, it is incumbent upon every level of government to simultaneously pursue sound incentives and eliminate the laws and policies already on the books that are proven impediments to these objectives.  I am encouraged by SBA’s initiative and urge every person who interacts with SBA to provide input.  I also call on my colleagues to move quickly to pass the Small Business Regulatory Freedom Act.  This will ensure all federal agencies focus on pro-growth policies that cultivate an economic climate ripe for job creation and innovation.”

Comments for the SBA must be submitted no later than April 13, 2011.  The Federal Register announcement can be viewed here: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2011/pdf/2011-5839.pdf .  Comments can be submitted electronically at the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov or  mailed to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of the General Counsel, located at 409 Third Street, SW., Washington, DC 20416.

Key provisions of S. 474, the Snowe-Coburn Small Business Regulatory Freedom Act, include:

  • Including “Indirect” Economic Impact in Small Business Analyses
  • Judicial Review to Allow Small Entities to Challenge Proposed Regulations
  • Periodic Review and Sunset of Existing Rules
  • Requiring Small Business Review Panels for All Federal Agencies
  • Expanding the Regulatory Flexibility Act to Agency Guidance Documents

The following groups have endorsed S. 474:

American Public Power Association

Hispanic Leadership Fund

Institute for Liberty

International Franchise Association

National Association for the Self-Employed

National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)

National Black Chamber of Commerce

National Federation of Independent Business

National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

Society of American Florists

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Window and Door Manufacturers Association