Let’s face it: Regulatory compliance is simply part of doing business today, whether the regulations are set forth by a federal, state, county or local government agency. To lend some perspective, the Code of Federal Regulations alone contains more than 178,000 pages—up from just over 71,000 in 1975.
According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Research Foundation’s latest Small Business Problems and Priorities survey, small businesses are definitely feeling the burden. The survey asked 20,000 NFIB members to evaluate 75 potential problems on a scale ranging from “critical problem” to “not a problem.” Unreasonable government regulations ranked 2nd—behind only the cost of health insurance—as the most severe issue facing small business owners. This problem has slowly climbed up the rankings over the course of the last several surveys, ranking 9th in 2004, 6th in 2008 and 5th in 2012. Currently, one-third of those surveyed consider it to be a “critical problem.”
Another recent survey shows that some regulations are more burdensome than are others. Here’s a list of regulations that the small business owners surveyed said were particularly challenging:
- Federal tax code
- Affordable Care Act
- Overtime pay
- Minimum wage
- Independent contractor test
- Reporting pay data by gender and race
- State licensing requirements
With today’s regulatory environment so expansive and complex, NAWBO National is proud to be the voice of women business owners on the front lines advocating for regulatory reform. We understand that any change or increase in regulations impacts our members’ businesses and their ability to succeed and grow—and that the overall uncertainty this creates has a much larger effect on the U.S. economy by dampening business investment, growth and job creation. In fact, in our 2017 member survey, the majority of survey respondents cited taxes and regulations (52.52%) as the top advocacy issues impacting their business. Click here to view NAWBO National’s complete public policy agenda for 2017.
Meanwhile, enjoy this latest edition of NAWBO ONE with the theme of “Regulations and Compliance.” In it, you’ll read a Member Spotlight on one of our members who is currently serving as her chapter’s public policy chair. She shares what women business owners need to keep in mind when it comes to regulations and compliance. We also feature tips on how to tackle compliance issues and much more!
Lastly, in just a few short weeks, hundreds of women business owners from across the nation will come together in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where public policy is just one of the timely issues we’ll be talking about. There’s still time to register on the conference landing page, where you can also access the latest agenda. I hope to see you there!
—Kathy Warnick, 2017-2018 National Board Chair