The National Restaurant Association has joined up the list of more than 150 organizations that urges members of the U.S. House of Representatives to co-sponsor the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011, a bill that requires the federal government to consider any of their new regulations’ potential impact on small enterprises and businesses.
The bill, which is also called H.R.527, would also necessitate the government to consider giving easier alternatives for the small businesses whenever possible.
“The foodservice and restaurant industry is mostly composed of small businesses which, we can say, are the backbone of America’s economy,” according to Angelo Amador, NRA’s vice president of Labor and Workforce Policy. “Their capability to function efficiently and operate their business with their employees in top quality restaurant uniforms without the burden of unnecessary regulations is critical to the economic recovery of our country.”
The NRA, along with 156 local, state and national associations, drafted a letter last September 21 which is addressed to all House members, appealing them to co-sponsor the proposed law.
In 1980, Congress handed out the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), which aimed to relieve small businesses from the stress of onerous regulations that are imposed on them. The RFA mandates that federal agencies analyze the effect of their proposed regulations on small businesses, and if those effects prove to be significant, the federal agency must lay out less arduous alternatives. The law does not, however, require the small businesses to choose the least arduous option.
Each time a federal agency writes a law affecting small businesses, the regulation has to comply with the RFA.
H.R.527, primarily sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith, ensures that federal agencies abide by the RFA and seal the loopholes that agencies use to dodge compliance with the RFA. The bill also hopes that the evaluation of the regulations would force the agencies to conduct better periodic review of their rules. The “one-size-fits-all” regulations that are often produced by federal agencies are said to disproportionally hold back small enterprises from soaring higher in their business operations and H.R.527 will significantly help alleviate these unnecessary burdens.
The associations also hope that once the bill is passed, existing industry regulations can be extensively analyzed for its cumulative impact on small businesses, and could be repealed or modified. The bill would also give the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy more overseeing authority when federal agencies propose their regulations.
The NRA has worked to gain support for H.R. 527 all the way through the legislative process. It has sent out letters of support to members of the two House committees of jurisdiction, Small Business and Judiciary, and eventually got an approval this year.
As Rep. Sam Graves said, “small enterprises are the life blood of our country’s economy—creating over 50% of the non-farm private GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Small companies have also generated 64% of net new jobs in the past 15 years. If we are really intent in getting this economy to move again, we should look at ways in assisting small businesses prosper. One of the most helpful ways is taking away the burden of overregulation.”