Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Ranking Member Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) wrote a letter to Professor Elizabeth Warren, President Obama’s choice to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), urging her to provide a detailed plan explaining how she will handle the responsibility of implementing small business review panels at the newly created agency.  Senator Snowe introduced an amendment included in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to create small business advocacy review panels within the CFPB to consider the impact of Federal regulations on small businesses.

“Requiring the CFPB to convene small business advocacy panels is a critical step in protecting the interests of small business,” Senator Snowe said, citing a recent Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy report highlighting that regulatory compliance costs small firms 36 percent more on average per employee than it does large firms.  To comply with all Federal regulations, the report found that firms with fewer than 20 employees spend $10,585 per employee, compared to $7,755 for firms with 500 or more employees.  Additionally, the annual cost of Federal regulations overall totaled over $1.75 trillion in 2008.

“As the CFPB commences work on one of its top priorities – the improvement of disclosures for mortgages - I request that Professor Warren work closely with the CFPB’s small business advocacy review panel at all stages of the process.  If recent mortgage disclosure reform by the Department of Housing and Urban Development is any indication, a significant number of small businesses will be affected by the revised mortgage disclosures,” Senator Snowe concluded.

A copy of Senator Snowe’s letter may be accessed below.