Making Small Business Views Count in the Rule Making Process

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Congress created the Office of Advocacy in 1976 to be an independent voice for small business within the federal government. In that role,
Advocacy has become an active
participant in the regulatory process, submitting comments to federal agencies on a host of proposed rules that will significantly affect small businesses. However, effective
advocacy requires your help.

How can small businesses be
effective partners in the rulemaking process? By knowing how the regulatory process works, understanding
the substance of proposed
rules, and effectively communicating their views to government regulators.


Federal regulations impose a
disproportionately harsh burden
on small business. A recent study sponsored by Advocacy estimated the cost of federal regulations at over $1.1 trillion annually. Small businesses paid 45 percent more per employee in regulatory costs than large firms did.

Congress understood that the burden of federal regulations falls disproportionately on small businesses, so it passed the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) and the Small
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) to give small business a voice in the rulemaking process. These laws require federal agencies to consider less burdensome alternatives when proposed
rules are expected to have a
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Further, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the
Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) plans to
“The RFA and SBREFA are the legal foundation to make small businesses