NFIB: Overregulation is #1 problem facing small biz

NFIB Optimism Report Shows Businesses Suffering From Regulation

This month’s NFIB Optimism Report lists “government regulations and red tape” as the single biggest problem facing small businesses. “The NFIB asks its members each month to declare their “single most important problem.” In April, 18 per cent said taxes, down from 19 per cent a year ago. Poor sales were identified by 19 per cent of respondents, which is a notable improvement from a year earlier when 25 per cent said a lack of demand was their biggest concern. The biggest single concern of business owners is one policy makers can address with little cost to the treasury: Twenty per cent identified “government regulations and red tape” as the biggest problem, up from 17 per cent in April 2011.” [Kevin Carmichael, “Red Tape Worse Than Taxes: US Small Business.” CTV, 05/08/2012]

Small business owners are no more optimistic today than they were a year ago, according to the latest reading from the National Federation of Independent Business. "The National Federation of Independent Business says its index of small business optimism rose 2 points last month to 94.5. That makes up for the 2 points lost in March, but only returns the index to its February 2011 level. William Dunkelberg, the NFIB's chief economist, still classifies the reading as weak." [“Small Biz Optimism Rose in April But is Still Weak.” Associated Press, 05/08/2012]

Small business owners point to the proliferation of regulations as a cause of uncertainty.   “‘And someone has got to pay for that extra cost,’ he said. ‘Regulations result in an overall rise in prices and a lack of availability, and that hurts everyone. It's a vicious cycle. I'm not saying we shouldn't have some regulations, but there's got to be a balance somewhere.’ Chapdelaine and others in the small business community said they are worried a rash of regulations being crafted by federal agencies will stymie job growth further than the economy has in recent years.” [Brian Gadd, “Regulations Hurting, Small Businesses Say.” Coshocton Tribune, 05/06/2012]

Uncertainty on the business front translates to higher prices for goods and services for consumers. “Those same regulations cause prices to rise, hurting consumers as well. ‘It's really taking a toll on small business,’ said National Federation of Independent Business Ohio Member Support Manager Andy Patterson. ‘There are more than 4,000 different federal regulations that are in the pipeline right now, and 850 of those are going to affect small business owners in Ohio.’” [Brian Gadd, “Regulations Hurting, Small Businesses Say.” Coshocton Tribune, 05/06/2012]

Businesses exist to grow and build their business, which translates to job growth within the community. “‘Our stance is, let's rein in some the regulations being created, and let small business owners get back to creating jobs,’ Patterson said. ‘If the government could foster an environment where business can grow and add jobs, our small businesses can hire people in their communities and put people back to work.’” [Brian Gadd, “Regulations Hurting, Small Businesses Say.” Coshocton Tribune, 05/06/2012]

Business uneasiness about the future of the economy is fueling the less than spectacular job growth coming from the economy. “Economists have cited owners’ unease about the economy as a reason for the slow growth in jobs this year. The Labor Department said Friday that 115,000 jobs were created last month, the fewest since October.” [“Small Business Owners Grew More Optimistic in April But They’re Still Wary About the Economy.” Washington Post, 05/08/2012]