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Get Involved: Help SBA Reform Federal Regulations

Posted by Mike Werling | September 25, 2008
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/blog/218202

OK, so the nearly $1 trillion Wall Street rescue is all but assured, but the benefits to small business remain to be seen. In the long run, more credit should become available for entrepreneurs who need funding to start a business or expand an existing one, but for now it's the big players who will lap up the taxpayer-sponsored river of capital.

Even if the plan works perfectly and the federal coffers become flush with cash over the next several years--decades?--how can this be seen as anything other than a catastrophic failure of a system that is supposed to self-regulate as a way to avoid such collapses?OK,so the nearly $1 trillion Wall Street rescue is all but assured, but the benefits to small business remain to be seen. In the long run, more credit should become available for entrepreneurs who need funding to start a business or expand an existing one, but for now it's the big players who will lap up the taxpayer-sponsored river of capital.

Even if the plan works perfectly and the federal coffers become flush with cash over the next several years--decades?--how can this be seen as anything other than a catastrophic failure of a system that is supposed to self-regulate as a way to avoid such collapses?

While the feds and the fallen financial gurus on Wall Street sort out this 13-figure debacle--even sports agents have to cringe at numbers that big--there is another $1 trillion small-business owners can do something about. The Small Business Administration estimates that business owners in the U.S. spend $1.1 trillion annually to comply with federal regulations. Now may not seem like the time to get into a deregulatory fervor--since deregulation is largely responsible for the credit and mortgage mess we are in--but too many rules for businesses are outdated, shortsighted or just plain silly. And they need to be removed or updated.

To that end, the SBA's Office of Advocacy, through its Regulatory Review and Reform (r3) initiative, is asking business owners to nominate federal rules that are in need of review and reform. Once compiled, the list will be whittled down to a Top 10 list and r3 will submit the suggestions to the appropriate federal agencies. Click here to learn more and nominate a rule.

"Changing markets, technology and competition make it imperative that federal agencies periodically review how their current regulations affect small business," says Thomas M. Sullivan, chief counsel for Advocacy.

Among the mandates on the 2008 Top 10 list, one in particular could help the widest range of entrepreneurs: Simplify the home office business deduction. SBA is calling for a rule to permit a standard deduction for home-based businesses. With 53 percent of all small businesses run from the home, kinda makes sense.

The rules that make the 2009 list are up to you.