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Should There be Laws to Protect Small Business?

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on March 22, 2011 6:47 AM

The Small Business Administration is now receiving public comments on its review of agency regulations and whether to expand, remove or streamline existing rules. U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe wants you to chime in.

Senator Snowe is spearheading a legislative project that affects small business owners, hoping to protect their interests and remove economic hardships imposed by the regulatory system.

Here's what you need to know.

Senators Olympia Snowe and Tom Coburn have introduced the "Small Business Regulatory Freedom Act." Per the Senators' press release, the Act is designed to require federal agencies to consider the economic impact on small businesses during their regulatory processes.

The Senators feel that small businesses with fewer than 20 employees are disproportionately burdened with the costs and hassle of complying with regulatory rules. The bill aims to remove regulations and "allow the free market to create jobs."

According to the press release, federal agencies will have to consider the direct and indirect impacts of proposed regulations on small business; each agency will need to create a small business review panel and conduct periodic reviews of existing rules; and judicial review will be permitted so that small firms can challenge proposed regulations.

Senator Olympia Snowe is certainly on the right track--regulatory red tape is overly burdensome for small business owners who simply don't have the time or money to deal with requirements and inquiries. But are all of these provisions necessary?

Who knows?

When making your decision, consider whether the proposed law is overly burdensome on federal agencies. Is an economic analysis sufficient to protect your interests? Is an additional special committee really necessary? Is anyone actually going to seek judicial review? Would the agency, after conducting the initial analysis, be more efficient and serve you better if it didn't have a few more hoops of its own?

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