The latest news, resources and activities report from SBE Council
In this Edition: •Barbara Weltman’s Idea of the Day® Follow-Up • Laboring Under Regulation: Your Stories, Ozone Update, Internet Regulation Leads to Less Investment, Bipartisan Reform from the Senate, 100,000 Fewer Small Biz Contractors, DoL’s Overtime Regulations • REMINDER: Get Your Business “EMV Ready” by October 1 • Making Sense of Incubators, Accelerators and Coworking Spaces• Kabbage: Resources to Spark Growth •On Capitol Hill This Week •What Does the Browning-Ferris NLRB Decision Really Mean for Small Businesses? • KEATING’s Corner: China, The Fed and a Potential (Tiny) Rate Hike, Consumer Credit, the August Jobs Report, 3rd Quarter Trade Data and Beyond•Biz Tips & Trends News Highlights
Barbara Weltman’s Idea of the Day® Follow-Up
Each day you’ll find a new tip for your business in Barbara Weltman’sIdea of the Day®.During the month of August, you may have missed some of Barbara’s great ideas and resources.In her “Follow-up” feature for SBE Council,Barbara provides the latest news on select ideas since originally published.Don’t miss any more of these great tips and resources.Sign up to receiveBarbara’s daily idea by email!
Laboring Under Regulation
Small Business Impact...Your Stories:If regulations are impacting your business or making your life difficult as an entrepreneur, SBE Council would love to hear your story. Whether it’s a federal, state or local rule; compliance costs and complexity; or undue red tape and excessive paperwork, please share your experience with SBE Council! Send us an email:firstname.lastname@example.org “Regulatory Burden” in the subject line and our staff will follow up with you!
In less than a month, the Obama Administration is expected to unveil its final ozone rule – the most expensive federal regulation in history. For the past month, SBE Council’s Center for Regulatory Solutions (CRS) has rolled out a series of reports conveying the impact of the far-reaching rulemaking by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). See our primer:Q&A on the EPA’s Ozone Rule.
Virginia:On September 10, we released“Prepare to Stop: How Washington’s Ozone Plan Will Punish Virginia’s Economy and Make Traffic Worse.”According to the report, which was released by president & CEO Karen Kerrigan during a media conference call led by the National Association of Manufacturer’s (NAM), lowering the ozone standard from 75 parts per billion (PPB) to the 65 to 70 ppb range would throw at least 12 counties and 7 independent cities into non-attainment. These areas represent 56 percent of the Commonwealth’s GDP, 47 percent of the workforce, and 44 percent of the population. The study only includes areas of the state where air monitors are present, which means the findings and impact is conservative.The proposed standards would also likely cause Virginians to face longer and worse traffic jams, especially in Northern Virginia and along I-95.
Many are questioning the EPA’s rush to advance the new regulations given the fact that the agency is still not finished with its implementation of the current standard.Many of our pristine U.S. National Parks would violate the new standard. News coverage of the report and a NAM Virginia public opinion study included the Richmond Times Dispatch, Lynchburg News Advance, National Journal, E&E, among others.
Pennsylvania:On September 1, president & CEO Karen Kerrigan participated in a media call with U.S. RepresentativesMike Kelly (R-PA)andGlenn Thompson (R-PA),the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Associationwhere she announcedthe findings of the CRS study,“Moving the Goal Posts: How Washington’s Ozone Plan Impacts Working Families and Pennsylvania’s Economic Comeback.”Lowering the ozone standard from 75 parts per billion (ppb) into the 65 to 70 ppb range would place at least 33 counties in Pennsylvania in violation of the new standard. As documented by the study, “The vast majority of Pennsylvania’s economy, population, and workforce could be caught in the net of ozone nonattainment under the EPA’s proposed range.” The 33 impacted counties represent 85 percent of the Commonwealth’s GDP, 83 percent of the workforce, and 81 percent of the population.
As State Rep. Pam Snyder (D-PA) says about the EPA’s proposed rule:“The ever-changing and disputed EPA standards represent a dagger pointed to the heart not only of southwestern Pennsylvania, but the entire state.”
In the News: Coverage of the Pennsylvania report continues to pour in.AP in Pennsylvaniareported on the study, which was picked up by 42 state outlets. Stories also appeared in theAllentown Morning Call,Beaver County Times,Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,Pittsburgh Business Times,Johnstown Tribune-Democrat,Erie Times-News,Pa. Business Dailyamong others. TV and radio coverage included all the major markets with spots onWTAE(Pittsburgh),KDKA(Pittsburgh),WGALandWHP(Harrisburg),WJET(Erie),WFMZ(Lehigh Valley, Berks Co., Philadelphia),KDKA(Pittsburgh),WESA(Pittsburgh’s NPR affiliate), among others.
Ohio Coverage Continues: As we noted in last week’s newsletter, SBE Council’s CRS published a similar study on August 26:“Powering Down: How Washington’s Ozone Plan Will Snuff Out Ohio’s Economic Recovery.”(See the news release here.) The report was covered by The Business Journal, Akron Beacon Journal,Toledo Blade, The Medina-Gazette,Cleveland.com,The News Center,E&E News, WKBN News,Washington Examiner,The Chronicle-Telegram, Cincinnati Enquirer, Crain’s Cleveland Business,Cleveland Plain Dealer,The Herald-Star, among others.A bigThank Youto U.S. RepresentativesJim Renacci (R-OH)andBill Johnson (R-OH)for weighing in with media releases, and Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) for joining us on the media call.
Colorado Study Still Reverberating:“Slamming the Breaks: How Washington’s Ozone Plan Will Hurt the Colorado Economy and Make Traffic Worse”(released on August 12), and the Chicago-area study,“EPA’s Proposed Ozone Rule Puts Chicago-Area Jobs at Risk,”continue to generate discussion, follow on media coverage and citizen activism. For example, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO)warnedthat a plan to dramatically tighten the federal ozone standard “doesn’t make any sense” and is “not going to work.” Governor John Hickenlooper (D)went public with his reservationsas well.
Read more CRS blog posts on the proposed ozone rule here:
Ozone Poses “Devastating” Threat to Colorado Economy, EDF Concedes “Costs and Burdens” Need to be a Factor.
CRS Welcomes Bennet/Gardner Resistance to EPA Ozone Regulation
Final Sprint Begins on Ozone Debate as EPA Sends OMB Final Rule Late on a Friday Night
Cincinnati-Area Air Quality Expert Disputes Scare Tactics on Ozone
EPA Ozone Agenda Worries Top Colorado Democrats
EPA Official Disavows American Lung Association Air Quality Claims
Results are In: Internet Regulation Leads to Diminished Investment:An analysis by SBE Council chief economist Ray Keatingnotes the warnings made by many regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s push to regulate the Internet – both wired and wireless broadband networks – as utilities through “net neutrality.” That is, such a decision would create uncertainty, limit innovation and restrain investment, with significant wider economic consequences. SBE Council made this argument in its comments on the regulatory proposal, in meetings with FCC commissioner’s staff and through other platforms. Keating looks at recent investment numbers, the small business angle, and the basic economics.
SBE Council and CRS Welcome BIPARTISAN Reform Solution in the U.S. Senate:In a letter to Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan endorsed a legislative package designed by the Senators in response to public input they received from small businesses and their constituents. These bills – the “Smarter Regulations Through Advance Planning and Review Act of 2015”; the “Early Participation in Regulations Act of 2015”; and the “Principled Rulemaking Act of 2015” – would bring more accountability to the regulatory process by requiring that rules address real problems, maximize benefits over costs, include a plan with clear metrics to measure progress in achieving those benefits for the public, and allow for public input before significant regulations are proposed.Read Kerrigan’s blog post on the legislation and why it is needed.
“Regulatory Accountability Act” Introduced in the Senate:S. 2006 was introduced on September 14, and greetedwith a support letter from a broad coalition of 387 co-signing groups,including SBE Council.A similar bill passed the Housethis past January.
Crushing Regulations Push Small Biz Out of Federal Procurement - 100,000 Contractors Have Stopped Doing Business with the Government:On Labor Day 2015, President Obama issued his 13th Executive Order focusing on federal contractors.These new regulations are forcing small businesses out of the federal contracting marketplace.Trade groups representing federal contractors are up in arms.They say the President is unfairly targeting contractors, and the regulations disproportionately impact small business contractors. House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) has weighed in on this issue.According to Chabot, the cost of doing business and competing in this sector is so high that small firms are being pushed out:"More than 100,000 companies have stopped doing business with the federal government in the last 3 years. The more barriers this Administration puts up, the fewer small businesses will be able to compete for federal contracts. This is bad for small business and bad for government."
Weighing in on DoL’s Overtime Regulations: SBE Council joined nearly 100 organizationsin filing comments to the Department of Labor on the proposed “overtime regulations.”The comment letter details how the regulations will: vastly reduce the offering and use of flexible scheduling options; result in employees in the same job classification (with the same employer) being treated differently based on regional cost-of-living differences; limit career advancement opportunities for employees; decrease morale for employees who get demoted to non-exempt status; reduce employee access to a variety of benefits, including incentive pay; deter employers from providing newly classified employees with mobile devices and remote electronic access, thereby further limiting flexibility; increase FLSA litigation based on off-the-clock and regular rate of pay claims; and introduce other legal and operational issues, such as increased administrative costs.The DoL rejected requests to extend the comment period and claims it listened to small businesses and stakeholders during its “outreach” even though the department staff consistently told participants the outreach was not officially part of the regulatory record. The rules could be finalized in the near future and put in place early 2016. To read more about the impact on small businesses,click here.
REMINDER: Get Your Business “EMV Ready” by October 1
Beginning October 1, 2015, liability shifts to merchants that do not process transactions using EMV technology. In other words, merchants — retailers, dry cleaners, restaurants, medical offices, and other businesses within the U.S. — are going to be responsible for chargebacks from fraudulent activities.
As noted by small business expert and SBE Council advisory board member Barbara Weltmanin aBusiness Success Strategiespost this past April, “EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, is a chip-and-pin technology for credit/debit cards. Also referred to as smart cards, EMV technology replaces the current strip that appears at the back of cards in the United States (Europe and most of the world went EMV years ago). Canada made the switch in 2008 and saw a dramatic decline in credit card fraud.”In her post, Barbara outlines what you should know about EMV and how to get ready to accept this new payment technology.
More Small Business Resources:
If I Don’t Switch to EMV, Will I No Longer Be PCI Compliant?
Making Sense of Support Programs for Entrepreneurs: Incubators, Accelerators and Coworking Spaces
Entrepreneurial support programs have surged over the past decade. Among the countless resources available to entrepreneurs are incubators, accelerators and coworking spaces. Many entrepreneurs don’t know the difference and hybrid models exist, which is confusing. With all of these options available, entrepreneurs are curious: What program is right for my business? If any?SBE Council advisory board member Brendan Karp, who works atTechNexus, an incubator in Chicago hosting 65 startups,explains it all in thisBusiness Success Strategiesblog post.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs):This year is the 35thanniversary of the SBDC program. SBDCs provide free counseling, as well as no-cost and low-cost training assistance, to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. There are 63 lead SBDCs at more than 900 outreach locations, operating in every state, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands. SBDCs are hosted by universities and state economic development agencies that work in cooperation with the SBA to provide services to small businesses. In fiscal year 2014, the SBDC program counseled and trained nearly 500,000 small business clients.To learn more about the SBDC program or to locate the SBDC nearest you, visitwww.sba.gov/sbdc.
Kabbage: Resources to Spark Growth
Kabbagehas developed a free resource: "30 Remarkable Small Business Resources to Spark Innovation and Growth," which includes SBE Council's Karen Kerrigan.Download it for free today!
On Capitol Hill this Week
Health Care Action – PACE Act:SBE Council supports the “Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employers Act” (PACE Act), H.R. 1624 and S. 1099. We’ve endorsed the legislation in theHouseandSenate,andrecently joined The 50-100 Coalition in a letterto congressional leaders urging quick action on the bills. The House is expected to vote on H.R. 1624by unanimous consentthis coming Wednesday, September 16, and then it will move to the Senate for a vote. Read why the PACE Act is important to small businessesin an Op-ed by Joel White, President of theCouncil for Affordable Health Coverage, of which SBE Council is a member.
Energy Legislation – Lifting the Antiquated Ban on Exports: This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will consider H.R. 702, sponsored by Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX), which ends the nearly 40-year-old-ban on crude oil exports. The bill passed the Subcommittee on Energy and Power last week by voice vote.SBE Council strongly supports the legislation. Fixing this outdated ban will bolster entrepreneurs and small businesses that are driving America’s energy renaissance.(Read SBE Council’s support letter here.)Benefits of Lifting the Ban on Crude Oil Exports:A new government study shows the benefits from lifting the ban on U.S. crude oil exports. SBE Council Chief Economist RayKeating reviews the studyand reports that the key beneficiaries are small businesses.
How Dodd-Frank is Crippling Small Lenders and Access to Capital:The House Small Business Committee, subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Accesswill host a hearing on September 17on the impact of regulations spawned by Dodd-Frank and their impact on small business lending and small financial institutions. The hearing will be streamed livehere.
What Does the Browning-Ferris NLRB Decision Really Mean for Small Businesses?
When the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released its ruling on Browning-Ferris, our worst fears were realized. As SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigansaid in a news release regarding the decision: “This week’s edict is the NLRB ruling, which serves as a major impediment to risk-taking and opportunity for Americans. In today’s economy, entrepreneurs and small business owners need flexibility and autonomy to run their businesses, but the NLRB says government knows better.If your small business is a subcontractor, a franchise, or participates in a partnership, your business is under attack.”
TheCoalition to Save Local Businesses,of which SBE Council is a member, has aFACT SHEETon the NLRB decision and what it means to small businesses and entrepreneurship in America. The coalition recently posted a piece:What Does the Browning-Ferris Decision Really Mean for Small Business?
Legislation to limit the NLRB ruling has been introduced in the House and Senate. The“Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act” (S. 2015, H.R. 3459) is being spearheaded by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee; and Representative John Kline (R-MN), chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee. SBE Council supports the legislation and will work with our coalition allies to advance Senate and House passage.
Keating’s Corner: Economic Data, Analysis and Commentary
6 Points China’s Economy, the U.S. and Small Business:Given the recent market turmoil related to economic news from China, SBE Council chief economist Ray Keatingreports on key trade databetween the U.S. and China, and the role of small business.
Should Small Business Wring it Hands Over a Potential (Tiny) Fed Rate Hike?In the latest cybercolumnKeating argues that when it comes to monetary policy, entrepreneurs and investors have a lot more to worry about than the possibility of a tiny Fed rate hike.
Solid Growth on Consumer Credit: Keating looks atthe latest numbers and trends in consumer credit. He notes some solid growth, and points out, “The trend in consumer credit offers some hard data on consumer confidence, as opposed to the winds and shifts that tend to be seen via surveys.”
6 Points on the August Jobs Report:Keating reviewsthe latest jobs data from August,and finds the numbers mixed, but with particular concern regarding labor force participation and a recent decline in entrepreneurship as measured by unincorporated self-employed.
Third Quarter Trade Data and Beyond:Keatingdigs into the trade data from Julyand through the first seven months of 2015. Noting that both exports and imports are down, Keating points out that if this trend holds for the rest of the year, 2015 would be the first year since the recession year of 2009 where we experienced declines in exports and imports.
Biz Tips & Trends News Highlights
If you missed our latest roundup of “How To” articles, educational resources, and business news and success stories curated by SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerriganyou can find them here.
Support SBE Council today!
Pleasemake a contributionto help strengthen the environment for entrepreneurship and small business success.