OOIDA urges SBA nominee to commit to reducing regulatory burden

| 8/6/2009

One of the top complaints many small-business truckers have is the amount of regulatory red tape they must endure to keep their businesses both compliant – and competitive – in today’s tough economic climate. 

And the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is committed to ensuring that small-business truckers get the recognition they deserve for their important contribution in driving the nation’s economy.

On Thursday, Aug. 6, the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship hosted a confirmation hearing for Dr. Winslow Sargeant, who is the nominee for Chief Counsel for the Office of Advocacy within the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Office of Advocacy was created in 1976 as the watchdog agency to ensure the “development and growth of American small business” in the federal government’s legislative and rule-making processes.

OOIDA President Jim Johnston wrote a letter prior to the hearing about what the Association expects from the Office of Advocacy.

“OOIDA would like to see the Office of Advocacy continue to aggressively pursue compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, as well as to see Congress move to further strengthen those laws,” Johnston wrote. “It is our sincere hope that Dr. Sargeant shares our desires.”

According to the SBA Office of Advocacy’s own mission statement, small businesses are “heavily burdened by the costs of government regulation and excessive paperwork.” And small businesses with 20 employees or fewer “annually spend 45 percent more per employee than larger firms do to comply with federal regulations.”

“Small businesses dominate the trucking industry in the United States. … It is certainly not a stretch to say that small-business truckers are truly the backbone of our nation’s economy,” Johnston wrote.

In the letter, Johnston argues that while small-business trucking professionals support regulations that “promote a safe and efficient trucking industry,” they also expect the federal government to “implement regulations with some level of common sense and fairness.”

“Unfortunately, OOIDA’s experiences with federal agencies lead us to believe that despite efforts by Congressional leaders such as you and the Office of Advocacy, small-business issues and regulatory flexibility analyses are, at best, an afterthought in most rulemaking processes,” Johnston wrote. “To make matters worse, all too often large corporations push federal agencies to promulgate regulations in hopes of diminishing competition from small businesses.”


– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer