Chairman Jim Risch (R-ID) today held a hearing of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship to consider the financial impact of regulations on small businesses and to examine how entrepreneurs confront and shape regulations.

In his opening statement, Chairman Risch spoke about excessive regulations crippling entrepreneurs’ growth and operations. “Small businesses need a break from the regulations that they’ve been suffering under for the last eight years. Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act that we have proposed, and we’re going to consider before the committee, the federal government will be required to evaluate the impact [of new regulations] and implement them in a realistic fashion,” Risch said.

The National Small Business Association’s 2017 Regulations Survey found that small business owners spend an average of $12,000 every year on regulations, preventing more than half of small businesses from hiring new employees. Federal regulatory agencies estimate that the cost of complying with their own regulations is about $108 billion annually. Further, their compliance costs are 36 percent higher than those of larger firms.

During the hearing, Risch also stated that the current regulatory decision-making process is ineffective and does not adequately include the entrepreneurs who shoulder the heaviest burden of compliance with new and existing regulations. “Often when I talk to entrepreneurs they feel that their complaints, when there is a regulation proposed, fall on deaf ears. We all know it is much easier for a large business to comply when the federal government decides that they’re going to enact some type of regulation. … We need to ensure that the agencies listen to small businesses when making rules.”

Risch added: “I look forward to working on this committee to pass much needed reforms that empower the office of advocacy and give businesses, particularly small businesses a stronger voice while also limiting the ability of the federal agencies to impose new regulatory costs on small businesses.”

To watch the full hearing or read opening remarks, click here.