Majority Say Government Compliance Taking Long

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<p><strong> Northfield, Ill. &mdash; Aug. 8</strong><br />Government regulation continues to plague small businesses, despite federal efforts to reduce the time needed to meet the demands of compliance, according to a study by the Small Business Research Board (SBRB). </p><p>The SBRB report, co-sponsored by International Profit Associates (IPA), said 88 percent of the small-business owners and managers responding to the nationwide survey are finding it takes more time than it did two years ago to comply with government regulation.&nbsp; </p><p>IPA, with more than 1,800 professionals, is the largest privately held provider of management consulting services to small and midsize businesses in North America.&nbsp; IPA is based in Buffalo Grove, Ill.</p><p>Among seven leading industry segments, more construction and contracting businesses are being affected &mdash; 93 percent indicate it is taking them longer to comply than two years ago. &nbsp;<br /><br />Categorically, 92 percent of the operators of&nbsp; businesses in the transportation industry said they were spending more time to comply. </p><p>Other industries in which government regulations are eating up more time include: automotive and retail, each with 90 percent, distribution/wholesaling businesses at 85 percent, manufacturing companies at 83 percent and food concerns at 80 percent.<br /><br />The study coincided with the fifth anniversary of the signing of federal regulations designed to reduce the stress caused by government compliance requirements.&nbsp; </p><p>The Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002 (SBPRA) was enacted June 28, 2002, to ease the burden of Federal paperwork on small businesses.<br /><br />Specifically, SBPRA directed Federal agencies to:<br /></p><ul><li>Establish a single point of contact for small businesses no later than June 28, 2003, to serve as liaison between the agency and small business concerns.</li><li>Establish efforts to reduce the burden of&nbsp; paperwork for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.</li><li>Designate task force representatives from &quot;applicable&quot; departments and agencies to study the collection and dissemination of information.</li><li>The submission by each agency of an initial regulatory enforcement report to Congress by Dec. 31, 2003, and a final report to Congress by Dec. 31, 2004.</li><li>The direct requirement of agencies to become directly or indirectly involved in meeting other requirements of the act such as that which requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to undertake certain activities, including publishing in the federal register and making available on the internet (in consultation with the Small Business Administration) a list of compliance assistance resources.<br /></li></ul><p>&quot;Various studies conducted between 2000 and 2004, including those by the task force, as well as those completed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Businesses, identified the source of the problem, as well as its financial impact,&quot; IPA President Gregg Steinberg said. &quot;The SBRB report clearly demonstrates that the vast majority of companies are putting more time into compliance &mdash; not less.&quot;</p><p>For fiscal year 2003, for example, the OMB estimated that businesses and citizens spent about 8.2 billion hours and $320 billion to collect and submit data to the federal government. </p><p>The federal government has more than 8,000 separate information collection requests authorized by the OMB. &nbsp;<br /><br />According to Small Business Administration reports, small businesses represent more than 99 percent of all employers and in turn employ more than half of private-sector workers.<br /><br />The Small Business Research Board ascertains and reports the opinions of small-business owners and managers on a wide variety of topics related to their own businesses, as well as national and international issues that might affect their operations.&nbsp;&nbsp; </p><p>The SBRB conducts these studies for the benefit of small-business owners and managers.&nbsp;&nbsp; </p><p>The SBRB also provides opportunities for third parties to gain real-time insight into the attitudes of small businesses nationwide through the independently conducted research. <br /><br />The universe of participants is developed from among small businesses across the United States. The SBRB study is a voluntary survey conducted via phone and e-mail. </p>

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