House Small Business Committee

Small Business Tax Reform: Modernizing the Code for the Nation’s Job Creators.

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 09/27/2017 - 11:00am
The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Small Business Tax Reform: Modernizing the Code for the Nation’s Job Creators.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on September 27, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The hearing will examine how the United States tax code affects small businesses and how changes proposed in H.R. 3717, the Small Business Owners’ Tax Simplification Act of 2017, could impact the nation’s job creators. 

Documents

1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
3. Hearing Memo
4. Opening Statement

Witnesses

Ms. Kristie Arslan
Entrepreneur-In-Residence and Small Business Counsel
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
Vienna, VA
Testimony
Disclosure

Mr. Thomas Gorczynski
Co-Founder
Hacksmith Labs Chicago, IL
Testimony
Disclosure

Mr. Miguel Centeno
Partner
Shared Economy CPA
Redondo Beach, CA
Testimony
Disclosure

Ms. Caroline Bruckner
Managing Director, Kogod Tax Policy Center
Executive-in-Residence, Accounting and Taxation
Kogod School of Business
American University
Washington, DC
Testimony
Disclosure


Chairman Chabot and SBA Administrator McMahon Hold Roundtable in Cincinnati

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 09/21/2017 - 12:00am

CINCINNATI – Today, Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Linda McMahon, and House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH), visited Cincinnati manufacturer Faxon Machining for a tour of the facility and for a roundtable discussion with several local small businesses.

I take every opportunity I can to hear straight from small businesses about what is working or what barriers they are still facing in the current economy. Not surprisingly, a majority of the businesses today were most concerned with burdensome federal regulations and the increasing complexities of the tax code. I couldn’t agree more and have been leading our Committee to address these issues in our hearings and the legislation we help pass, an effort which includes working with our colleagues on other committees. Our tax code needs to work for, not against, small businesses, and we need to continue pushing for real regulatory reform,” said Chairman Chabot.

I thank Administrator McMahon for visiting and continuing to listen to small business concerns here in Ohio and across the nation,” Chabot added.

Chairman Chabot has introduced legislation, H.R. 3717, the Small Business Owners’ Tax Simplification Act, to create more clarity within the tax code as well as H.R. 33, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, which passed the House as part of H.R. 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act.

###


Tech Talks: How SBA Entrepreneurial Development Programs Have Evolved with Technology

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 10:00am


The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology will meet for a hearing titled, “Tech Talks: How SBA Entrepreneurial Development Programs Have Evolved with Technology.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, September 14, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The hearing will provide the Committee with an opportunity to examine how the Small Business Administration’s Entrepreneurial Development programs have adapted their training and counseling programs to reflect the market’s increased reliance on technology. This hearing will focus on highlighting the ways in which Entrepreneurial Development centers and programs have not only incorporated varying levels of technological training into their programs, but also how centers are employing technology administratively to increase services to their clients. 


Attachments 

1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List

Witnesses 

Ms. Marsha Bailey
Founder and CEO
Women’s Economic Ventures
Santa Maria, CA
Testimony
Disclosure

Mr. Scott Daugherty
State Director
North Carolina Small Business Technology Development Centers
Raleigh, North Carolina
Testimony
Disclosure

Ms. Bridget Weston Pollack
Vice President of Marketing & Communications
SCORE Association
Herndon, VA
Testimony
Disclosure








Tech Talks: How SBA Entrepreneurial Development Programs Have Evolved with Technology

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON - Today, Members of the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology heard from a panel of entrepreneurial experts on the technological evolution of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Entrepreneurial Development Programs.  Many of these programs have adapted their curricula to reflect the increased reliance on technology small businesses must utilize in order to be more competitive in the market.

As technology has continued to advance, businesses of all sizes have adopted various forms of technology as a way to increase efficiency and decrease costs,” said Subcommittee Chairwoman Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS).  “And as this reliance on technology has become more prevalent, more and more small businesses have found that an increased use of these technological tools is necessary to allow their businesses to compete and succeed in the market.” 

A Changing Economy Calls for New Strategies

SBA has a range of entrepreneurial development programs throughout the country to help small business owners navigate the complexities of opening their own shop. They include the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), and Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs).

“The advent of the internet, email, and cell phones more than a decade ago ensured that all businesses would need to change. I am proud to say that WBCs have adopted new technology for the betterment of the entrepreneurs that rely on us,” said Marsha Bailey, Founder and CEO of Women’s Economic Ventures in Santa Barbara, CA. “Technology allowing for distance-learning fills a gap in needs in rural areas in particular, where in-person services are simply not an option. Some WBCs have established computer labs, both stationary and mobile, which are particularly important for rural areas where access to broadband is not always available.”

Customers are driving the demand for digital interactions. Among recent Microsoft survey respondents, an equal number wanted in-person and digital experiences including website, email and social media,” added Scott R. Daugherty, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of the North Carolina Small Business Technology Development Center in Raleigh, NC. “As companies move toward digital engagement, clients become accustomed to the fast response and it becomes an expectation.”

Technology is not new to SCORE, but its constant evolution presents a powerful opportunity for SCORE to continue to serve our clients when and how they want to be served. For this reason, SCORE has successfully integrated technology into every aspect of our business practices,” said Bridget Weston Pollack, Vice President of Marketing and Communications with the SCORE Association in Herndon, VA.In addition to technology-focused mentoring, SCORE regularly develops and shares the best and most current technology resources and educational materials via our website and distribution channels.”

VBOCs primary mission is to conduct entrepreneurial development training dealing specifically with the key issues of self-employment, meaning owning and succeeding in a business of their own,” said Brent Peacock, Director at the Veterans Business Outreach Center at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, FL. “Thanks to the rapid pace of technology an online learning, we can Skype, use webinars, and employ online resources to help dozens of clients in a day. Technology has made a significant impact on our productivity and effectiveness as a government funded entity.”

You can view the full video of today’s hearing HERE and read the full witness testimony HERE.

###




Chairman Chabot Sends Letter In Support of Save Local Business Act

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – This week, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) sent a letter to two House Education and the Workforce Subcommittees in support of H.R. 3441, the “Save Local Business Act,” of which he is an original co-sponsor. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) expanded its definition of the joint employer standard in 2015, creating confusing and new challenges for small businesses that want to work with other small and large firms to expand their companies.  

Small businesses have been hurting under this rule for the last two years and it’s time we put an end to it. Under the new standard, a potential small business owner may avoid buying a franchise because of the risk of being punished for the actions of a franchiser. It has also created a lot of confusion and unnecessary challenges for job creators that just want to grow their companies,” said Chairman Chabot.This legislation will restore certainty to America’s small business owners and their employees so that they can continue to operate their businesses locally and independently.”

As Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, Chairman Chabot has heard firsthand how the new joint employer standard threatens small businesses. The Committee held a roundtable in April 2015 and in March 2016 held a hearing on the issue titled, “Risky Business: Effects of new Joint Employer Standards for Small Firms” to examine how the expanded rule impacted small businesses. 

###

Serving Small Businesses: Examining the Effectiveness of HUBZone Reforms

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 11:00am



The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Serving Small Businesses: Examining the Effectiveness of HUBZone Reforms.” The hearing will take place at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The hearing will examine legislation updating the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) Program, which seeks to provide federal contracting opportunities to small businesses in economically distressed areas of the country. H.R. 3294 is a bipartisan, comprehensive HUBZone reform bill designed to address concerns brought by small businesses as well as the Government Accountability Office

Documents
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List

Witnesses
Ms. Shirley Bailey
Co-Owner-Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
GCC Technologies 
LLC Oakland, MD
*Testifying on behalf of the HUBZone Contractors National Council

Mr. Robert A. Schuerger, II
Principal and Attorney at Law
Law Offices of Robert A. Schuerger Co., LPA,
Columbus, OH 




Serving Small Businesses: Examining the Effectiveness of HUBZone Reforms

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Small Business Committee heard from small businesses within the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program. Specifically, the Committee heard testimony on H.R. 3294, the “HUBZone Unification and Business Stability Act,” introduced by Ranking Member Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH).

The program’s core mission is to bring economic hope, independence, jobs, and businesses to depressed areas marked by high unemployment and poverty.  This is accomplished through the use of federal contracting preferences.  H.R. 3294 helps the program achieve its mission objectives by providing legislative solutions to the challenges and weaknesses identified by small businesses and government watchdogs,” said Chairman Steve Chabot.

Because HUBZone area determinations frequently change, as often as annually and potentially several times per year, small businesses are unable to anticipate shifts in HUBZone area designations and do not know when they will occur.

The uncertainty resulting from the annual designation updates not only impacts HUBZone companies, it negatively impacts the economic stability of the communities in which the company and employees reside. I am pleased to see that the Committee has taken steps to address this issue and others in H.R. 3294,” said Shirley Bailey, President and Board Chair of the HUBZone Contractors National Council in Washington, D.C.

In my view, H.R. 3294 provides much needed stability to companies like mine. Clinton County, home of Wilmington, will lose its HUBZone designation in 2018. I certainly favor the approach in H.R. 3294 which freezes the current HUBZone eligibility maps until 2020. It would provide us with the transition time our firm needs while we decide how to keep our valued employees and finding a new office,” said Robert A. Schuerger, II, Principal and Attorney at Law at the Law Offices of Robert A. Schuerger Co., LPA in Columbus, OH.

So my message to you echoes what we have heard from my fellow HUBZone firms. We need you to give HUBZone firms stability by extending the re-designation period as you have in HR 3294. This bill, which was introduced by both the Ranking Member and the Chairman, if enacted now, will freeze the HUBZone map until 2020 and then only be changed every 5 years. This will give communities and their businesses time to build resources to compete in a post HUBZone environment,” said Dennis DuFour, President of TDEC in Oakland, MD.

Wovenware is a perfect example of a company that would greatly benefit from revisions to the current HUBZone program. Not only do we have the expertise, experience and drive to provide needed technology services that rival or exceed the capabilities of other U.S. companies, but securing more federal contracts would enable us to organically grow our business, employ more local workers and contribute to the revitalization of the economy in Puerto Rico,” said Carlos Melendez, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder at Wovenware in San Juan, P.R.

You can view the full video of today’s hearing HERE and read the full witness testimony HERE.

###



Chairman Chabot Sends Letter to Equifax CEO Requesting Information on Data Breach

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Today, House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement after sending a letter to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Equifax, Richard Smith, following the data breach that potentially affected 143 million Americans:

With more than 140 million Americans’ personal information at stake, my hope is that Equifax responds quickly to our concerns on the data breach. We need to ensure that we minimize the damage inflicted upon everyone, but for us particularly, the small business community,” said Chairman Steve Chabot. 

In the letter, Chairman Chabot stated:

“The compromised information includes, at a minimum, names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and addresses, as well as credit card numbers for over 200,000 consumers.”

In light of its concerns, the Committee requested the following information as soon as possible, but by no later than noon on Tuesday, September 26, 2017:

1. How many small businesses/owners are affected by the data security breach?

2. Who is responsible for the data breach, how did the perpetrators penetrate Equifax’s cyber defenses, and, specifically, what information was compromised?

3. What effort is Equifax making to assist its customers who own small businesses in securing their personal information and preventing future fraudulent activity as a result of this cyber breach?

4. What steps is Equifax taking to ensure the small business owners impacted by the data breach will not be adversely effected when applying for credited to start or expand their business operations?

The full letter can be read HERE.

Earlier this week, the House Small Business Committee sent a separate letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging action on the data breach.

ICYMI – SBC Vice Chairman Luetkemeyer Pens Op-Ed About Cutting Red Tape for Small Businesses

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Recently, Vice Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) wrote an op-ed in the News Tribune in Jefferson City, MO about the House Small Business Committee hearing titled, “How Streamlining Federal Permitting Can Cut Red Tape for Small Business.”  The hearing examined how federal permitting requirements burden small businesses and ways to streamline the process. 

As many of you know, before a business can begin a construction project it is required to obtain a myriad of permits from the federal government. The federal permitting system is a complex and costly regulatory network, particularly in the construction industry,” stated Vice Chairman Luetkemeyer

The National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are just a few examples that place undue burdens on small businesses through the permitting process. Often times these laws produce unnecessary and duplicative regulations with multiple government agencies regulating the same actions,” added Luetkemeyer.

To read Vice Chairman Luetkemeyer’s full op-ed, click HERE.

###

Chairman Chabot Sends Letter to Federal Trade Commissioner Urging Action on the Equifax Data Breach

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 12:00am
WASHINGTON – This week, House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement after sending a letter to the Honorable Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Acting Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), about the Equifax data breach affecting 143 million Americans’ personal information:

The Equifax data breach is a disturbing reminder that there are cyber security threats that span the grid.  From the Department of Defense, to Fortune 500 companies, to the smallest mom and pop shop in your neighborhood, these threats and breaches must be taken seriously in an ever-increasingly connected economy,” said Chairman Steve Chabot. 

In the letter, Chairman Chabot stated:

“The compromised information includes, at a minimum, names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and addresses, as well as credit card numbers for over 200,000 consumers.  The Committee has concerns regarding the cyber incident’s impact on America’s small business community.”

 The Committee called for answers to the following questions by no later than September 25, 2017: 

1. How many small businesses/owners are affected by the data security breach?

2. What steps is the FTC taking to assist its customers who own small businesses to secure their personal information and prevent future fraudulent activity as a result of this cyber breach?

3. What steps is the FTC taking to ensure that small business owners impacted by the data breach will not be adversely affected when applying for credit to start or expand their business operations?

4. What is the current status of the FTC’s engagement with Equifax, and how is the FTC working with Equifax to ensure that all necessary precautions are being taken to protect the personal information of Equifax’s customers?

5. What effort, if any, is the FTC making to encourage TransUnion and Experian to take necessary precautions to prevent future attacks?

The full letter can be read HERE.

Chairman Chabot Introduces Legislation to Update the Tax Code for Nation’s Innovators

House Small Business Committee News - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON - Today, House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) introduced H.R. 3717, the Small Business Owners’ Tax Simplification Act, to create more clarity within the tax code and allow small business owners to both offer and participate in cafeteria plans. Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) is an original co-sponsor of this bill.

“Thanks to the innovation of today’s small business owners, we can now order food or catch a ride from our phone. Unfortunately, though, our current tax code has not kept pace with today’s innovators,” said Chairman Chabot.

“Issues such as a whether a worker is considered an employee or contractor still need to be addressed and updated. Additionally, small business owners should be allowed to participate in Health Savings Accounts and pension plans offered to their employees to best meet the needs of their company. Whether a small business is offering a ride, making a delivery, or manufacturing new technology, it’s time we fixed the inequalities they face within our tax code,” Chabot concluded.

 “Our tax code no longer works for small businesses and is too outdated to keep up with the needs of a new generation of entrepreneurs in the sharing economy. Over 3 million people earn income as microentrepreneurs through the sharing economy. But, because the tax code has not been updated since 1986, it creates complexities that serve to stifle their efforts and burden them with additional costs,” said Ranking Member Velázquez

“These are not the only policies creating inequities for small employers. From reporting deadlines and filing thresholds to health and benefit plan parity for the self-employed, small business owners need a better tax code. I am pleased that the Chairman and I could come together to draft a bipartisan tax package to address the tax needs of small firms in every industry,” Velázquez added.

The Small Business Committee has held several hearings on reforming the tax code as well as the need to expand cafeteria plans.  

###

Examining the Small Business Labor Market

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 10:00am
Chairman Dave Brat has scheduled a hearing of the Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access titled, “Examining the Small Business Labor Market.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, September 7, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building. 

Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List

Witnesses 
Mr. Michael Farren
Research Fellow
Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Arlington, VA

Mr. Bruce Seilhammer
Electrical Construction Group Manager
SECCO, Inc.
Camp Hill, PA

Mr. Gardner Carrick
Vice President of Strategic Initiatives
The Manufacturing Institute
Washington, DC 








Circumventing the Skills Gap: How Small Businesses are Navigating the Labor Market

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Today, Members of the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access heard from a panel of key experts on the challenges small businesses face when dealing with the skills gap in the labor market.

“In just the past year, the number of job vacancies grew from 5.5 to 6.2 million, which is the highest in this century,” said Subcommittee Chairman Dave Brat (R-VA)“Although large businesses may have the resources to staff recruiting departments and offer better wages and benefits, resource strapped small businesses are left at a significant disadvantage.”

Find, Hire, Retain: Challenges Owners Face in Today’s Labor Market

From academia to manufacturing, electrical construction, and even grocers, witnesses with a wide array of backgrounds spoke to the challenges that small businesses endure with the labor market America faces today. High taxes, burdensome regulations, and the skills gap, are just a handful of the small business trials the panel discussed during today’s hearing.

“It seems indisputable that a skills gap does exist in the labor market, but importantly, this issue is probably best characterized as being unique to each company. Importantly, though, any tax code changes should be broadly based and available to all workers and employers, rather than favoring some industries or skills over others. Additionally, programs and policies that reduce the potential workforce available to employers should be reformed,” noted Dr. Michael D. Farren, Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Arlington, VA.

“A number of different factors have contributed to the current workforce shortages in the electrical contracting industry. One of those is the fact that many left during the recession and never returned. In addition, much of the skilled trades’ workforce is retiring or is approaching retirement,” said Bruce L. Seilhammer, a member of the Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc. and the Electrical Construction Group Manager at SECCO, Inc. in Camp Hill, PA. “Government-mandated ratios vary across the country, and serve as artificial restrictions that prevent us from training the future electrician help to close this skills gap.”

“The manufacturing sector has struggled to find the right workers and it is impacting our ability to successfully compete in the global economy and grow our industry,” added Gardner Carrick, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at The Manufacturing Institute in Washington, D.C. “These jobs need to be filled if the manufacturing sector and the U.S. economy are going to remain strong and globally competitive. Fortunately, manufacturing companies are stepping up to offer solutions to this challenge, in partnership with local high schools, community colleges, and technical schools.”

“Obamacare mandates on small business serve as a perfect example of a regulation with good intentions that have created an additional burden for our business,” said Carlos Castro, Founder of Todos Supermarkets in Woodbridge, VA. “Costly regulations often take up too much of our time and resources, and pose a serious barrier to hiring new talent, According to National Grocers Association (NGA) data, the average grocer can expect to spend between 40 and 50 thousand dollars a year on regulatory compliance per store, per year.”

You can view the full video of today’s hearing HERE and read the full witness testimony HERE.

###

Expediting Economic Growth: How Streamlining Federal Permitting Can Cut Red Tape for Small Businesses

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 11:00am
The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Expediting Economic Growth:  How Streamlining Federal Permitting Can Cut Red Tape for Small Businesses.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Currently, small businesses must comply with many overlapping layers of federal permits. Obtaining all of the correct permits requires successful navigation through a complex regulatory system of federal laws and regulations and takes a significant amount of time and money. The hearing will examine how federal permitting requirements burden small businesses and ways to streamline the permitting process. 

Attachments:

Witness List (subject to change): 

Mr. Philip K. Howard
Senior Counsel
Covington & Burling LLP
New York, NY

Mr. Louis A. Griesemer
President
Springfield Underground, Inc.
Springfield, MO 



Chairman Chabot Responds to Hurricane Harvey Relief Package

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Today, Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, Steve Chabot, released the following statement after the House overwhelmingly passed a $7.9 billion hurricane relief package in response to Hurricane Harvey:

Unfortunately, this storm took many lives. These storms also devastated people’s businesses, possessions, and homes. They will need financial relief to rebuild,” said Chairman Chabot.

Our Committee is committed to working with our partners at the Small Business Administration and throughout the federal government to help these Americans reclaim and rebuild their lives as quickly as possible. We will continue to be engaged on this issue for the coming weeks and months and will do everything we can to help our fellow Americans in their time of need,” Chabot added. 

###


Expediting Economic Growth: How Streamlining Federal Permitting Can Cut Red Tape for Small Businesses

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Small Business Committee held a hearing examining how the current federal permitting process burdens small businesses.

The federal permitting process is a component of this vast regulatory state. Usually before a business can begin to open its doors, launch a project, or begin an initiative, it must obtain a number of permits before moving forward.  But the current permitting process is a maze that businesses—big and small—must navigate.  And as with regulations generally, the federal permitting process disproportionately affects small businesses,” said House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH).

[w]e must continue to look for ways to simplify and streamline the permitting process. Especially to ease the regulatory burden on small businesses, our economy’s lifeblood,” added Chabot.

Small Businesses Must Overcome High Hurdles to Obtain Permits

The witnesses provided testimony detailing how small businesses must overcome a number of hurdles—including wading through regulatory overlap, enduring lengthy delays in permitting decisions, and bearing increased costs—as they try to obtain all the appropriate federal permits before launching projects.

Getting a permit to start a business, or to build anything, requires going to multiple agencies, often at federal, state, and local levels. These agencies rarely coordinate their requirements. Often their demands are duplicative, and sometimes conflict with one another. Nor do they honor the practical implications of the regulations—not the costs, time constraints, or diversion of energy,” said Philip Howard, Chair of Common Good.

It gets even more complicated when we need to expand our operations, open a new or temporary operation, or merely do minor construction work at a site to upgrade our facilities to provide needed material for crucial infrastructure projects. A host of federal requirements come into play, among them the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Historic Preservation Act. These statutes often require businesses to prove that we should not fall under their jurisdiction, said Louis Griesemer, President of Springfield Underground, Inc., Springfield, MO, testifying on behalf of National Stone, Sand, Gravel Association.  “A 'regulated until proven otherwise'approach is very costly and difficult for any business, particularly a small company like mine, without the resources for dedicated compliance staff that larger corporations employ. This is not an efficient use of resources for either the company or the agencies, and punishes the businesses who are trying to comply and care deeply about safety and the environment.”

For me, the timing of this hearing could not be more appropriate. The wildfires burning in Western Montana are having a devastating effect on our state and local economies. Lives have been lost, homes have been lost, and hundreds of resident evacuations due to the threat of fire, including my own family,” said Mark Hayden, General Manager of Missoula Electric Cooperative in Missoula, MT.

“I fully recognize that the fires burning in Montana today were all lightning sparked, but also realize the increased risk that long delays in federal approval of permit applications, inadequate fuels reduction programs, and other factors bring to our co-op and to our infrastructure,” Hayden added.

Flawed Regulatory Structure

Mr. Howard explained that, within our current regulatory structure, no one seems to be in charge, testifying, “[t]here’s no one with the responsibility to ask, ‘What’s the right thing to do here?’ No one in government has the job of balancing the demands of different agencies. No one has the job of giving a small business a permit. Instead, American regulation is a dense jungle, impenetrable to all except large companies with legal staffs of hundreds of lawyers.”

“The Status Quo is not an Option”

As Mr. Hayden testified, [f]or us, the status quo is not an option. We need streamlined, expedited procedures that allow for timely implementation of projects to protect the long-term health of our forests, our small businesses, and the overall economies of the communities we serve.”

You can view the full video of today’s hearing HERE and read the full witness testimony HERE.

###

Chairman Chabot Praises Court Decision to End Overtime Rule

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Last week, a federal judge struck down the Obama administration’s costly Department of Labor’s overtime rules.  House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) commended the decision in the following statement:

Small business owners, and their employees, can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they will have to worry about one less burdensome rule that hurts their business or affects their job. This is an issue the Committee has been working hard to reverse.  I look forward to working with the new Administration as the Department of Labor continues to get feedback from stakeholders about what would be most favorable to small business owners,” said Chairman Chabot.

Chairman Chabot and Committee Republicans have focused on the DOL overrule throughout the 114th 115th Congress.

The Committee has held numerous hearings and roundtables and sent letters explaining the damage this rule would cause to small businesses.

The Department of Labor is still inviting stakeholders to submit public comments on the overtime rule. For more information, the Committee has put together a Regulatory Watch page on our website to track regulatory proposals that have been published in the Federal Register and are open for public comment. 

Forbes: How Congress Can Help Reluctant Millennial Entrepreneurs And Small Businesses

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 12:00am

Entrepreneurship is on the decline. This may come as a surprise with the popularity of shows such as “Shark Tank.” But between 2010 and 2014, only about 165,000 new businesses were started, compared with almost half a million new businesses between 1992 and 1996. Perhaps more surprisingly, millennials are starting even fewer businesses than previous generations.

Why are innovators – particularly Millennials – reluctant to start their own company? The recent recession coupled with barriers such as regulations, taxes, and lack of access to capital needed to start and grow a company, is adding to their reservations.

As chairman of the House Small Business Committee, I’ve seen first-hand how entrepreneurs and small businesses create a majority of our nation’s jobs. In fact, 99.9% of all businesses in the United States are considered a small business, and two out of every three new jobs are created by a small business. With these kinds of facts, you probably know someone who owns, works for, or works with a small business.

 

That’s why we need to make sure that people with great ideas feel like they can take that idea and successfully turn it into a product, service, or job.

In response, the House Small Business Committee recently held a hearing to ask industry experts what we can do to reverse the decline. We brought in Gregory Crawford, Ph.D., the president of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and Karen Kerrigan, president and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, to get their input on the current state of entrepreneurship.

Dr. Crawford is focused on using universities as testing grounds for the next generation of innovators. He believes in not only traditional education, but also real-world experience and entrepreneurial lessons, to prepare more students to create new businesses, and thus create new jobs through their entrepreneurial accomplishments.

 

According to Dr. Crawford, Miami University has transformed their traditional internships into “interactive apprenticeships” where students can jump into the middle of a “messy, complex, sometimes risky, tension filled” real-world experience of entrepreneurship. Kerrigan noted that half of Millennials would be interested in starting a new business. However, she stressed the fact that millennials are more risk averse than other generations, leading to a 24 year low in businesses created by young Americans. She also said we need to create a more “business-friendly” environment, particularly by reducing duplicative or outdated regulations that prevent companies from growing.

I couldn’t agree more.

Across the country, federal government regulations affect small businesses in all industries, making it harder and more costly for small companies to start, grow and expand their businesses. Entrepreneurs are struggling with high compliance costs and expensive mandates. We need to lighten the massive regulatory burden, and make it easier for small businesses to thrive.

The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy is currently holding round tables around the country to hear directly from small businesses about which regulations are hurting them the most. By updating, cleaning up, or getting rid of bad regulations entirely, entrepreneurs will be better able to do what they do best – create jobs.

While there are many reasons potential entrepreneurs are apprehensive, perhaps the biggest barrier to taking the leap is the broken tax code. According to a June CNBC survey, taxes were the number one issue for at least a quarter of small businesses surveyed.

First, the current system is confusing for many small business owners. Many came from different careers, but with one great idea decided to start their own business. They do not have accounting backgrounds to help them navigate our complicated tax system. Nor are many of them able to hire tax attorneys to help them figure out how to save money.

Second, when small businesses have to pay higher taxes, it prevents them from investing money back into their company. Money they could use on new equipment to make their latest cupcake, invest in a marketing campaign about their new phone app, or even hire more employees to manage a new store.

Third, the smaller the business, the higher their tax burden per employee. Businesses with more than 50 employees have a tax burden of less than $200 per employee, while businesses with five or fewer employees face burdens as high as $4,500 per employee. This is not fair. We need to ensure that our tax system doesn’t favor the size of a business or their ability to turn a profit the quickest.

With slow economic growth and declining entrepreneurship, especially among millennials, it is more important than ever to provide legislative solutions to help, not hurt new and small businesses. From reducing regulations, increasing access to capital, and reforming the outdated tax system, I am committed to helping create an environment that encourages younger generations to get excited about starting a business. Millennials have the talent, creativity, and work ethic to create the next generation of businesses and jobs, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on Capitol Hill to make that a reality.

The original article can be read HERE.

Chairman Chabot Applauds Swift Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Aid Bill

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON - Today, Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) of the House Small Business Committee released the following statement on the Hurricane Harvey Emergency Funding legislation to designate $450 million to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Disaster Loan Program.

"As Chairman of the House Small Business Committee, I applaud House Leadership, Chairman Frelinghuysen, and the House Appropriations Committee on their swift action to craft a bill to provide disaster relief aid to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. The people of Texas and Louisiana are strong, but their small businesses will need our help to rebuild.”

“I trust that the SBA and Administrator McMahon will be good stewards of the funds and ensure small businesses and homeowners get back on their feet as quickly as possible.”

Chairman Chabot Sends Letter to SBA Monitoring Hurricane Relief Efforts

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Today, House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) sent a letter to Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon recognizing the SBA’s early efforts to respond quickly to Hurricane Harvey and encouraging SBA to continue to respond efficiently and effectively to the victims in Texas and Louisiana.

As you are aware, the Committee reviewed SBA’s Disaster Loan Program at its April 26, 2017 hearing.  The program necessarily improved following Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy.  In the wake of those disasters, the oversight community—including Congress, the Government Accountability Office, and the SBA Office of Inspector General—made several recommendations and took legislative action to help SBA improve its disaster loan program.  SBA has largely implemented these recommendations and legislative provisions.  At the hearing, however, the Committee emphasized that SBA must continue improving its loan process times while also guarding against fraud and abuse in the program.  Although a difficult task, SBA reassured the Committee at the hearing it was capable and ready for that next big disaster,” said Chairman Chabot.

“As I emphasized in April’s hearing, the Committee wants to help SBA to make sure it is prepared.  I look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure that SBA has the tools necessary to aid the Hurricane Harvey victims from homeowners to small business owners,” he said.

The full letter can be read HERE



Copyright

© 2017 Women Construction Owners & Executives USA
WCOE grows your contacts, contracts & bottom line