WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today urged the Obama Administration to significantly increase its efforts to reduce the significant and disproportionate regulatory burden small businesses face.  According to a recent Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy report, small firms with fewer than 20 employees pay an annual regulatory cost of $10,585 per employee, which is 36 percent higher than the regulatory cost facing larger firms. 

“Excessive regulations are suffocating the entrepreneurial spirit of America’s almost 30 million small businesses,” said Senator Snowe, at a Committee hearing this morning.  “This Administration has embarked on nothing short of regulatory rampage, stampeding over small business, through the promulgation of an estimated 43 new major regulations in fiscal year 2010 alone – imposing $26.5 billion in new regulatory compliance costs.  And that’s on top of the $1.75 trillion in annual regulatory compliance costs that the SBA’s Office of Advocacy recently reported.  We should instead be reducing the burden small businesses face, and I call on the Obama Administration to work mightily to cut the red tape and afford these firms a regulatory environment that allows them to expand operations and create jobs.”

At the hearing, Senator Snowe also called on newly installed Chief Counsel for Advocacy Dr. Winslow Sargeant to be a “bulldog for small business” by standing up to Federal agencies during the rulemaking process and acting to exceed the $11 billion in annual regulatory compliance savings the Office of Advocacy achieved under the most recent Chief Counsel.  Senator Snowe further requested Dr. Sargeant to quickly appoint the 10 Regional Advocates under his purview, to ensure that his office has eyes and ears across the country to inform him of the most pressing issues to small businesses.

In the 112th Congress, Senator Snowe intends to continue her efforts to require the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to estimate in a “job impact statement” the potential job creation or job loss attributable to each bill or joint resolution reported by a Congressional committee that exceeds $5 billion in costs, and to ensure that Federal agencies more fully examine the effects of any regulatory proposals on small businesses.