Bush signs executive order protecting small business

Thursday, September 12, 2002

WASHINGTON, D.C. - With mounting regulatory costs harming the ability of small firms to compete and survive in today's challenging economic climate, Small Business Survival Committee (SBSC) Chair Karen Kerrigan lauded action taken by President Bush to ensure that regulatory agencies are held accountable to small firms when they write new laws.

"The complexity and cost of the regulatory process is particularly burdensome to small businesses. With per-employee regulatory costs now exceeding $7,000 for small firms, its time that federal regulatory agencies comply with the law in how they write their rules," said Kerrigan.

"President Bush's executive order compels agencies to 'think small' in the regulatory process, meaning they must review how their actions affect small entities, and design a plan of action on how they will implement this responsibility."

According to SBSC, the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) - a law requiring agencies to give small businesses a voice in the rulemaking process, and one designed to protect small firms from onerous regulation - was not consistently implemented, or was being ignored, by some federal regulatory agencies.

By requiring agencies to submit to the Small Business Administration's (SBA's) Office of Advocacy how they plan to comply with the law, and giving Advocacy a say in whether their plans are acceptable, strengthens the standing of small business in the rule-making process.

SBSC is particularly pleased with the executive order as it follows on the heels of the president's Economic Forum where small business owners brought their stories and concerns about mounting regulatory costs and the confusing regulatory process to the session on "Small Business & Smart Regulation."

Kerrigan participated in the economic forum and heard first-hand the regulatory concerns of small business owners. SBSC first brought the executive order concept to a House Small Business Committee hearing in the previous Congress on the issue of improving the effectiveness of the SBA's Office of Advocacy.

To read the executive order in its entirety, visit: www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/08...

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