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Testimony before the Joint Economic Committee Hearing on “Breaking through the Regulatory Barrier: What Red Tape Means for the Innovation Economy”

Testimony before the Joint Economic Committee Hearing on “Breaking through the Regulatory Barrier: What Red Tape Means for the Innovation Economy”

May 22, 2018

Jessica A. Milano

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Small Business, Community Development, and Housing Policy
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Small Business Owners Say Commonsense Regulations Needed to Ensure a Modern, Competitive Economy

A new scientific opinion poll found small business owners support commonsense business regulations and do not feel current levels of regulation are a top business concern. The poll also found current levels of regulation are not a top concern for our nation’s small business owners, and they do not support rolling back all federal regulations on businesses. 

Small Business Owners Support Policies Promoting Access to Responsible Lending

Recent scientific opinion polling found small business owners are broadly supportive of a range of policies that would support responsible lending. Specifically, the poll found 77% of small business owners support a policy that would lift a cap on credit union lending and an overwhelming 87% support a “truth in lending” act for small business loans to increase transparency, among support for other policies.

Small Business Majority Supports California's Homemade Food Operations Act

Small Business Majority submitted a letter to the California Assembly in support of California's Homemade Food Operartions Act (AB 626), which will help legitimize and create a legal framework for microenterprise home kitchen operations in the state. It will improve public health safeguards around the existing informal food economy by legalizing small-scale home food operations and ensuring health and safety standards. Finally, the bill will enable home cooks—mostly women, immigrants, and people of color—to use their skills to generate income.

Small Business Majority Supports California's Prompt Payment Bill

Mark Herbert, California Director for Small Business Majority, submitted a letter in support of the California Prompt Payment bill (AB 1552), which would require all public utilities to promptly pay vendors that submit valid invoices. Prompt payment measures such as this will help small businesses compete more effectively in bidding processes for contracts. The bill requires that public utilities will be required to pay vendor invoices within 30 days.

Small Business Owners Support Legislation Requiring Transparency in Business Formation

Recent scientific opinion polling found small business owners overwhelmingly believe Congress should pass legislation requiring businesses to list their true identity when forming. Such legislation is being considered to fight fraud committed by anonymous shell companies, including when larger companies use these entities to unfairly compete for government small business set-asides. Additionally, the poll found small business owners think such legislation would benefit, rather than burden, their business by protecting them from fraud and allowing them to compete fairly for government contracts.

Small Business Owners’ Opinions on Regulations and Job Creation

Rhetoric blaming government regulations for a lack of small business growth and our stagnant economy has reached a fever pitch. Legislators have introduced bills aimed at curbing regulations, believing this would stimulate our sluggish economy. While lawmakers are right to view small business as the key to economic recovery, small businesses don’t see regulations as their No. 1 concern. Instead, the vast majority of small business owners believe weak demand is the primary problem for their business right now, not regulations.

Small Businesses Support Clean Energy Standards and Want Congressional Action on EPA Nominee

National opinion polling shows small business owners believe government can play an important role in creating financial incentives that help small businesses take energy efficiency measures. As the drivers of the economy, small businesses want lawmakers to do what they were sent to Washington to do, including holding an up or down vote on nominees to lead government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency.