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Can't Find Your Way?

Congress may offer a guide through the labyrinth of federal regulations.

This story appears in the November 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

For years, small businesses have complained to Congress that compliance with federal regulations costs them much more than it does the Fortune 500 crowd, who can afford guidance from $350-an-hour K Street lawyers. Entrepreneurs may have to ditch that particular lament, though, if the National Small Business Regulatory Assistance Act of 2001 (H.R. 203), which the House Small Business Committee passed in August, becomes law.

Currently, the 1,000 or so Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) nationwide help entrepreneurs with the operational challenges of starting and growing their businesses. The new bill would create a pilot program in which the SBA designates two SBDCs in each of 10 regions to dispense regulatory advice free of charge. Don Wilson, president of the Association of Small Business Development Centers, says the selected centers will focus on educating entrepreneurs about complicated laws, such as the Americans With Disabilities Act, so they don't violate the law unwittingly.

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