Reducing the regulatory burden has been a top priority of the Trump Administration, and President Trump has issued two important executive orders on regulation. The first executive order requires each agency to take two regulations off of the books before a new major regulation is introduced and requires that the cost of compliance is less. The second executive order requires each agency to form a task force to identify all unnecessary, irrelevant and redundant regulations.
This burden on small business was first recognized by Congress, and in 1976 they created the Office of Advocacy as the voice of small business in the federal government. Advocacy is an independent office within the SBA that represents small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies and the federal courts. Advocacy works with federal agencies to find alternatives to proposed rules that are disproportionately burdensome to small business. Most small business owners do not have the time or expertise to sift through the vast volumes of federal regulations and keep up with the ever-shifting sands of change. Advocacy acts as your voice in Washington, monitoring these changes and engaging small business in the regulatory process.
The Office of Advocacy has three primary roles: economic research, regulation and outreach.
Advocacy’s Office of Economic Research is the government’s preeminent data house for information pertaining to small business. We release numerous pieces of research annually. Our website at www.sba.gov/advocacy contains state economic profiles, issue briefs, small business owner facts and small business facts with topics such as startup rates, the role of microbusiness in the economy and employment trends from new businesses.
In 1986 Congress passed the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The RFA requires each federal agency to analyze the impact of proposed regulations on small businesses. Advocacy's Office of Interagency Affairs monitors an agency’s compliance with the RFA, and submits a report to Congress each year. Mitigating regulatory impact on the small business community is our primary focus.
Conducting economic research and monitoring compliance with the RFA is only part of what Advocacy does. The Office of Advocacy is actively engaged in outreach beyond Washington, D.C. There are Regional Advocates placed throughout the country, one in each of the 10 federal regions. It is the job of these Regional Advocates to travel throughout their region, meeting with small business owners, listening to their challenges and taking their issues back to Washington.
You can read more about the executive orders and offer your input on how federal regulations negatively affect your business by visiting our website’s regulatory reform page. We are compiling this information to alert federal agencies of small business concerns. We also plan to use this data to construct regulatory roundtables across the country specific to market issues. Please visit our web page and provide your input so we can deliver your feedback to the decision makers in Washington.
Along with the regulatory reform page, our website also displays regulatory comment letters written by Advocacy in response to small business concerns and small business alerts which inform business about comment periods and proposed regulatory changes which may impact small business.
At the SBA Office of Advocacy, we play an important role in supporting small businesses and keeping their engines running well. Whether it’s providing research or taking your concerns back to our nation’s leaders, we’re actively engaged on behalf of America’s small business community. Please reach out if we can help. Sign up for email updates from the Office of Advocacy for the latest news.
Les Davies is the Office of Advocacy’s Regional Advocate for federal region 5. Davies is the direct link between the region’s small business owners, state and local government agencies, state legislators, small business associations and the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Federal region 5 covers Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. You can reach Les at firstname.lastname@example.org.