Small Business

Committee on Small Business

Steve Chabot

Scam Spotting: Can the IRS Effectively Protect Small Business Information?

2017/04/06



The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, "Scam Spotting: Can the IRS Effectively Protect Small Business Information?" The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 AM on Thursday, April 6, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building. 

Hearing Documents 
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
3. Hearing Memo


Witnesses

The Honorable J. Russell George
Inspector General
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
Washington, DC



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Taking Care of Small Business: Working Together for a Better SBA

2017/04/05




The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Taking Care of Small Business: Working Together for a Better SBA.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The Honorable Linda McMahon was sworn in on February 14, 2017 as the 25th Administrator of the United States Small Business Administration (SBA). From 1980 to 2009, Administrator McMahon was active in her family’s company, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., eventually becoming President and Chief Executive Officer. WWE began as a small regional company and grew into a large, global business. The Committee will hear from Administrator McMahon about her priorities for entrepreneurs and the SBA.

Hearing Documents
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List

Witness List 
The Honorable Linda McMahon
Administrator 
United States Small Business Administration
Washington, DC 

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SBA’s Entrepreneurial Development Programs: Resources to Assist Small Businesses

2017/03/30



The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce will meet for a hearing titled, “SBA’s Entrepreneurial Development Programs: Resources to Assist Small Businesses.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on March 30, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.  

The hearing will examine the United States Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Entrepreneurial Development (ED) programs and offer Members of the Subcommittee the opportunity to review the major technical assistance programs, along with the offices at SBA charged with overseeing the programs. 

Hearing Documents
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
3. Hearing Memo
4. Opening Statement

Witness List

Mr. W. Kenneth Yancey, Jr.
CEO
SCORE
Herndon, VA
Testimony
Disclosure

Ms. Antonella Pianalto
President and CEO
Association of Women’s Business Centers
Washington, DC
Testimony
Disclosure

Mr. Charles Rowe
President & CEO
America’s Small Business Development Centers
Burke, VA
Testimony
Disclosure

Mr. Joseph C. Sharpe, Jr.
Director, National Veterans Employment & Education Division
The American Legion

Washington, DC 
Testimony
Disclosure






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Committee Examines SBA’s Entrepreneurial Development Programs

2017/03/30

 

WASHINGTON – Groups that assist American entrepreneurs told the House Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce that while key entrepreneurial development programs administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) have helped small businesses, reforms could make these programs even more efficient and effective.

“From the startup company in my home district in California to the entrepreneurs and innovators all over the country, small businesses employ approximately half of all workers in the United States,” said Subcommittee Chairman Steve Knight (R-CA) in his opening statement. “Recent reports identify health care costs, regulatory compliance and a burdensome tax code as the top hurdles impacting the nation’s small businesses.”

“Frequently short on time and wearing many hats within these new start-ups, entrepreneurs need guidance and assistance. This hearing today is about exploring the resources available to entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses as they navigate a complex business ecosystem.” Subcommittee Chairman Knight explained.

“We will hear about the technical assistance and expert advice available to them through the Small Business Administration’s Entrepreneurial Development programs. With approximately 29 million small business in the United States, the programs within the SBA must operate efficiently and swiftly as the entrepreneurs they seek to help.  I am looking forward to hearing about the details of these programs. How do they help entrepreneurs?  How do they assist startups traversing the regulatory environment?  How can the programs be improved to better assist small businesses?” Knight said.
 
Small Businesses Know the SCORE

“SCORE is a uniquely American organization that synthesizes two historic national ideals: entrepreneurial spirit and volunteerism,” testified Ken Yancey, the Chief Executive Officer of the SCORE. “Since 1964, SCORE has provided expert volunteer business mentoring to more than 10 million entrepreneurs and small business owners. In 2015, SCORE set a goal is to help 1 million additional entrepreneurs by 2020. While this is an ambitious goal, it will help to guide a continual pattern of growth and expanded services. 13 Small businesses account for 99.7 percent of all employer firms and generate more than 50 percent of the non-farm private gross domestic product.”

“They employ more than half of all private sector employees. In this way, these small businesses are the engine of America’s job creating economy, the fabric of our local communities, and the embodiment of the American dream.” Yancey said.

Helping Women Entrepreneurs

“We appreciate this Committee’s dedication to the modernization of SBA’s resource partners and your willingness to hear from the programs that are serving entrepreneurs across the country,” said Antonella Pianalto, the President and CEO of the Association of Women’s Business Centers. “The WBC program is a proven program, an effective public-private partnership, and fills a growing need for the distinct population we serve. The directors and staff at WBCs are committed to helping women and their families prosper and achieve financial security through business ownership.”

“In my visits across the country, from California and North Carolina, to Florida and New York, I remain in awe of our centers incredible power to bring a dream, an innovation, or an idea to fruition. We urge Congress to advance the efforts already underway by this Committee to strengthen the WBC program and provide the necessary investment women entrepreneurs need to reach their full potential,” Pianalto explained.

Your Local SBDC Can Help

“This hearing couldn’t be better timed. The new Administrator has an opportunity to assess and analyze the programs at her disposal and work with us to maximize their effectiveness,” said Charles “Tee” Rowe, the President and CEO of America’s Small Business Development Centers. “We need to identify the gaps in coverage – geographic and content. Who is doing what right? Who is doing what wrong? Are the goals, metrics and data systems up to the job?”

“The recovery from the 2008 recession left a lot of holes in our economy. Many counties and communities have not recovered. How will we focus our efforts, reach them and build their small business infrastructure? SBA and its resource partners have an excellent arsenal of talent to bring to bear on these problems. The biggest obstacle we have is failing to listen to one another and recognize our respective strengths and weaknesses.” Rowe added.

The American Legion on Veterans Entrepreneurship

“Small business continues to be a primary job generator and a major trainer for American employees,” testified Joseph C. Sharpe, Jr., the Director of the National Veterans Employment & Education Division of The American Legion.   “The small firm workplace includes a considerable amount of young and entry-level workers. It is vital that veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses receive a fair and proportionate amount of federal contracts so these veterans can build and maintain successful businesses.”

“The American Legion reiterates that the Small Business Administration’s Office of Veterans Business Development should be the lead agency to ensure that all veterans are provided with Entrepreneurial Development Assistance,” Sharpe stated.

You can watch full video from today’s hearing HERE and read full testimony HERE.



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Evaluating the Paperwork Reduction Act: Are Burdens Being Reduced?

2017/03/29




The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Evaluating the Paperwork Reduction Act: Are Burdens Being Reduced?”  The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.  

The Committee will examine the Paperwork Reduction Act’s effectiveness in reducing the paperwork burden on small businesses and issues that may warrant further scrutiny or legislative action.

Documents
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
3. Hearing Memo
4. Opening Statement

Witnesses

Mr. Sam Batkins
Director of Regulatory Policy
American Action Forum
Washington, DC
Testimony
Disclosure

Ms. Leah F. Pilconis
Environmental Law & Policy Advisor
Associated General Contractors of America
Arlington, VA
Testimony
Disclosure

Mr. Frank Cania
Founder & President
driven HR
Pittsford, NY
*Testifying on behalf of the Society for Human Resource Management
Testimony
Disclosure
 
Ms. Sally Katzen
Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence 
New York University School of Law
Senior Advisor
Podesta Group
Washington, DC
Testimony
Disclosure
 
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Paper Cuts: Reducing the Paperwork Burden on Small Businesses

2017/03/29

WASHINGTON – Today expert witnesses told the House Small Business Committee that federal paperwork requirements are costing America’s small businesses valuable man hours and money. The hearing focused on the effectiveness of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) and explored possible ways to reduce the paperwork burden on small businesses.

“While the burden of federal paperwork is felt year round by individuals and small businesses, there is no more relevant time to discuss federal paperwork than in the weeks leading up to Tax Day,” said House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio). “Right now, individuals and businesses are pouring over tax forms and mind-numbingly complex instructions to make sure they get things right.” 

“Currently, federal paperwork is estimated to annually take 11.6 billion hours to respond to or comply with and costs nearly $1.9 trillion.  However, the burden may be higher as OIRA and others have raised concerns about the accuracy of agency burden estimates,” Chairman Chabot explained.

“While nearly 75 percent of the overall federal paperwork burden is generated by Treasury, onerous requests from other agencies contribute as well.  Examples of these include Census surveys, OSHA reporting and recordkeeping requirements, and third-party or public disclosures, such as food labeling requirements.  Laws enacted in recent years like Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank Act have added hundreds of millions of hours to the total.” Chairman Chabot added.

11.6 Billion Hours

“The PRA has existed for more than a generation, but flaws remain in a law ostensibly designed to ‘reduce” paperwork,’ testified Sam Batkins, the Director of Regulatory Policy at the American Action Forum (AAF). “That goal has clearly failed, as the PRA has turned OIRA into a manager of paperwork, one where ‘pseudo-science’ reigns and little hard data exist. Reforming the PRA to increase public participation, eliminate redundant forms, and strengthen benefit-cost analysis, should be a bipartisan exercise. For the next generation of the PRA, government should strive to produce better data while imposing lower costs on respondents and the federal government.”

“In 1997, after amendments to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), the cumulative burden was 6.9 billion hours,” noted Batkins. “Today, it stands at 11.6 billion hours. Small businesses are particularly affected, with 3.3 billion hours of compliance burdens and $111 billion in costs.”

“No one should praise spending hours on tax, health care, or housing forms. However, Americans currently labor under more than 11.6 billion hours of paperwork according to the recent tally from OIRA. For perspective on this incomprehensible figure, it is roughly 35 hours for every man, woman, and child in the U.S. That is a work-week dedicated simply to filling out federal forms and retaining information for federal regulators,” said Batkins.

Reducing Paperwork Burdens will Benefit the U.S. Economy

“The PRA is an important tool to ensure that the federal government avoids the unnecessary collection of information and streamlines the information collection process,” said Leah Pilconis, Environmental Law & Policy Advisor to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). “The federal government’s information collections take an enormous toll on the construction industry, which includes predominantly small businesses. Responding to federal reporting requests and documentation requirements consumes large amounts of time, resources, and funds. Any effort to reduce these burdens will benefit both the construction firms that face them and, in turn, the U.S. economy.”

Small Businesses One Regulatory Audit Away from Ruin

“Small-business employers often fall into the ‘they don’t know what they don’t know’ category,” said Frank Cania, the Founder & President of driven HR, a small business based in Pittsford, New York.

“Many of my driven HR clients started and continue operating today because someone had an entrepreneurial spirit and an idea,” explained Cania, who testified on behalf of the Society for Human Resource Management. “Further, although none are experts in, or sometimes even familiar with, the full panoply of employment laws and regulations, they have always made a good-faith effort to be in compliance.”

“As I sit here today, I can think of several clients who were only one regulatory agency audit away from significant hardship or ruin before we started working with them. I say that not to pat myself on the back, but to show that, for far too many small businesses, and far too many well-intentioned and hard-working small-business owners, government forms and data collection may unnecessarily pose their biggest threat to continued success and prosperity,” Cania told the Committee.

You can view full video of today’s hearing HERE and read full written testimony HERE.

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Small Business Committee Introduces Essential Contracting and Entrepreneurial Development Legislation

2017/03/29

Bipartisan Measures Will Help Small Businesses Thrive

WASHINGTON – Small Business Committee Members introduced bipartisan legislation that will improve opportunities for small businesses to compete for federal contracts and modernize entrepreneurial development programs so they can more effectively serve small businesses.

“Small businesses create the majority of new jobs in our economy,” said House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). "Whether it is creating new opportunities for small contractors or improving key entrepreneurial development programs like SCORE, Small Business Development Centers and Women's Business Centers, the reforms in these pieces of legislation will give our small businesses confidence and practical tools to succeed. This has been a true team effort from our Members on both sides of the aisle. I appreciate the leadership and hard work of Ranking Member Velázquez and all of the Members involved in bringing this legislation forward.”

“I always say that when it comes to small business policy, there are not Republican or Democratic issues, but American issues,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), the Ranking Member of the Small Business Committee. “The bipartisan legislation we are putting forward today draws from an array of bills previously introduced by Committee Members on both sides of the aisle and will go a long way toward fostering entrepreneurship.  By reforming government contracting rules, we can help unlock the half-trillion dollar federal marketplace for small firms, creating good paying jobs in communities around the nation. Strengthening Entrepreneurial Development programs will help existing businesses grow and aspiring entrepreneurs to launch new ventures. I look forward to working with Chairman Chabot and all the Committee Members to advance these measures.”

H.R. 1773, Clarity for America’s Small Contractors Act of 2017, sponsored by Chairman Steve Chabot Chabot (R-Ohio), co-sponsored by Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY)

This bill includes:

  • Title I: H.R. 1597, the Commercial Market Representatives Clarification Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA), co-sponsored by Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA) and Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL)
  • Title II: H.R. 1641, Defining Business Opportunity Specialists, sponsored by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), co-sponsored by Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY)
  • Title III: H.R. 1693, Improving Reporting on Small Business Goals, sponsored by Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY), co-sponsored by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
  • Title IV: H.R. 1640, Unifying Small Business Terminology Act: sponsored by Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY)

H.R. 1774, Developing the Next Generation of Small Businesses Act of 2017, sponsored by  Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), co-sponsored by Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio)

This bill includes:

  • Title I: H.R. 1702, Small Business Development Centers Improvement Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA), co-sponsored by Rep. Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS), and Rep. Rod Blum (R-IA).
  • Title II: H.R. 1680, Women’s Business Centers Improvement Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA), co-sponsored by Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL)
  • Title III: H.R. 1700, SCORE for Small Business Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC), co-sponsored by Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) 
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Chabot on Nomination of Althea Coetzee as Deputy Administrator of the SBA

2017/03/24

WASHINGTON—Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) made the following statement upon the announcement of President Donald J. Trump’s nomination of  Rear Admiral Althea Coetzee to serve as Deputy Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Allie Coetzee’s distinguished record in the U.S. Navy is the remarkable foundation for the innovative and entrepreneurial approach she has since brought to making local, state, and federal government entities work better on behalf of small businesses,” said Chairman Chabot. “The Small Business Administration and Congress alike are sure to benefit from her firsthand knowledge of how small contractors equip and empower the service members that defend us all. The Small Business Committee looks forward to working with her and the rest of the formidable team Administrator McMahon is assembling at the SBA.”

Last week, Chairman Chabot welcomed SBA Administrator Linda McMahon to his office for a conversation about their shared priorities in improving the SBA.  Read More

The Future of America’s Small Family Farms

2017/03/23




Chairman Rod Blum has scheduled a hearing of the Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade titled, “The Future of America’s Small Family Farms.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, March 23, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.  

Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
3. Opening Statement 

Witnesses 

John D. Lawrence, Ph.D.
Associate Dean and Director for Extension and Outreach
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Iowa State University
Ames, IA
Testimony
Disclosure

Mr. Tim White
Owner
TA White Farm LLC
Lexington, KY
* Testifying on behalf of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Testimony
Disclosure

Ms. Sarah Rickelman
Manager
Degener-Juhl Farms
Hudson, IA
* Testifying on behalf of the Iowa Farm Bureau
Testimony
Disclosure

Mr. Chuck Conner
President & CEO
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
Washington, DC 
Testimony
Disclosure


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The Future of America’s Small Family Farms

2017/03/23

Dodd-Frank, Death Tax and the Regulatory Assault on Small Family Farms


WASHINGTON
– Small family farmers told the House Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade today that capital access restrictions, the death tax and overregulation pose significant challenges to the future of America’s family farms.

“Small farms have always been a part of our nation’s fabric, and it cannot be stressed enough that the small family farm is a small family business,” said Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade Chairman Rod Blum (R-Iowa). “Although the industry has changed over time, agriculture is still a force pushing America’s economy forward. 41 percent of all land in the United States is used for farming. U.S. agriculture has a 45 billion dollar trade surplus with other countries, and while it may be surprising, over 93 percent of America’s farms are small family farms.”

“In addition to low prices, small family farms have a multitude of other issues to worry about. From high taxes, increasing regulatory burdens, and trouble selling their products internationally, it seems like government bureaucracy is only making it harder to run a small farm,” added Blum, who was chairing his first hearing as the Subcommittee’s new Chairman.

Washington Red Tape Holding Back Small Family Farmers

“Our biggest concern is over-regulation,” testified Tim White, the owner of White Farm LLC in Lexington, Kentucky. “The EPA’s WOTUS Rule is one such example. WOTUS has been a big concern to producers. The overreach in that regulation would require many beef producers to get permits, and comply with those permits, which would be a huge burden. Not to mention it would open us up to citizen lawsuits from litigious activist groups. Producers pride themselves on being good stewards of our country’s natural resources.”

“We maintain open spaces, healthy rangelands, provide wildlife habitat, and feed the world,” added White, who testified on behalf of then National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “But to provide all these important functions, we must be able to operate without excessive federal burdens, like the WOTUS Rule. As a small business owner, I am particularly concerned with the lack of outreach to the small business community by federal agencies such as EPA.

“As a family-owned business, and knowing the detrimental impact this regulation could have on my operation, it is appalling the agencies could assert that it would not have a significant economic impact on small businesses,” said White. “It is clear to me that the rule’s primary impact would do just that. There was no outreach to us in the agriculture community before the rule was proposed. There wasn’t a meaningful dialogue with the small business community as a whole. And because of that, what we got was a WOTUS Rule that doesn’t work for small businesses and doesn’t work for animal agriculture. The positive news is that President Trump signed an Executive Order requiring the EPA to go back and revise the WOTUS Rule so it doesn’t regulate every drop of water in this country.”

Broken Tax Code Also Hurting the Family Farm

“Another way that D.C. is affecting the family farm is through current tax policy,” said Sarah Rickelman, the Manager of Degener-Juhl Farms in Hudson, Iowa. “As Congress looks to reform our nation’s tax policy I hope that lawmakers will consider the impact any change will have on the thousands of family farms across the country. While lowering individual tax rates is a positive reform, family farmers will ultimately pay more taxes if essential tax policies for small businesses are eliminated. “

“Agriculture is a capital-intensive business and being able to deduct business expenses is a critical tool – this should include the ability to deduct interest expenses,” added Rickleman, who testified on behalf of the Iowa Farm Bureau. “As a young farmer, I’m extremely concerned about the ability of the next generation to purchase their first piece of ground or expand their operation if they can’t deduct interest expense. A tax reform package that doesn’t include these provisions will ultimately increase taxes on family farms. On that same note, I hope Congress will finally and permanently eliminate the death tax while maintaining stepped-up basis. These tax provisions are essential to the survival of the family farm.”

Supporting The Next Generation of Family Farmers

“Obviously, farm income is directed to more things than just supporting the household,” explained Dr. John Lawrence, the Associate Dean and Director for Extension and Outreach at Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Farmers reinvest profits back into the farm operation by purchasing or improving land, machinery and facilities. It may be cash payments or financed purchases with annual loan service payments. The decision between family living expenses and investment in the farm is a balancing act as old as farming itself. If a family farm is going to sustain itself into the future, it must maintain its assets, whether they be physical or in support of the family.”

You can view full video of today’s hearing HERE and read full written testimony HERE.

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Making Washington Work for America's Small Businesses

2017/03/22

 




On Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. the Committee on Small Business will conduct a hearing titled, “Making Washington Work For America’s Small Businesses.” The purpose of the hearing is for small business owners to outline their priorities and provide the Committee with ideas about federal policies that will help them most grow their businesses. A priority setting hearing, the hearing will help inform future committee hearings, advocacy efforts, and legislative priorities for the Committee on Small Business for the 115th Congress.

Documents
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
3. Hearing Memo

Witnesses

Ms. Maxine Turner
Founder
Cuisine Unlimited
Salt Lake City, UT 
* Testifying on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Testimony
Disclosure

Ms. Anne Chambers
Co-Founder and CEO
Red212
* Testifying on behalf of Women Impacting Public Policy
Testimony
Disclosure 

Mr. Rutland “Skip” Paal
Owner
Rutland Beard Floral Group
Baltimore, MD 21228
* Testifying on behalf of the Society of American Florists
Testimony
Disclosure 

Mr. David Borris
Owner
Hel's Kitchen Catering
Northbrook, IL
*Testifying on behalf of the Main Street Alliance
Testimony
Disclosure

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Making Washington Work for America’s Small Businesses

2017/03/22

Small Business Owners Sound Off on Obamacare, Regulations, Taxes

WASHINGTON – Today small business owners told the House Small Business Committee that Obamacare’s mandates, as well as overregulation and the current tax code, are having a devastating effect on their businesses, employees and customers.

“These issues are important because too often, small businesses get the short end of the stick which is counterproductive to the economic health of our nation,” explained House Small Business Committee Chairman Chabot (R-Ohio). “This hearing is a little bit different than others we do. Instead of focusing on one topic, we simply asked the witnesses to give us advice on the policies and initiatives that we can do to help them the most. By getting input now, we can focus our efforts throughout the 115th Congress to serve our constituency as responsibly and effectively as possible.”

Take for instance, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare,” said Chairman Chabot. “Small business witness after small business witness has come before us (and constituent after constituent back home) and stated how unworkable the whole thing is.”

“We hear stories of astronomical premium increases, severely limited choices, and little to no assistance for small businesses trying to help insure themselves and their employees. Yet, there are folks out there who think that Obamacare is working just fine. Well, it’s not, and small businesses are the ones left holding the bag,” added Chabot.

“Uncertainty and Lack of Clarity”

“I ask Congress to fix the broken ACA system,” said Skip Paal, the owner of Rutland Beard Floral Group, a small floral business based in Baltimore, Maryland. “It is detrimental to me and countless other main street businesses. If something is not done quickly, I fear that when I receive next year’s health insurance quote it will simply be unaffordable to the point where we would no longer be able to offer that benefit to our employees.”

“I applaud the recognition by Congress and the Administration that the Tax Code, which seems to be so large that not even my accountant can fully understand it, needs to be drastically simplified,” observed Paal, who testified on behalf of the Society of American Florists.“Tax relief to small business is incredibly important. The complexity of the Tax Code and its associated case law is not something that I can even begin to understand. Payroll taxes are simple, straightforward to calculate, and easy to plan for – we need something just as uncomplicated for corporate and pass-through taxes.”

“One of the greatest concerns that I and other members of my industry have is the sense of uncertainty and lack of clarity in legislation and regulations” said Paal. “It is impossible for small businesses to make decisions and plan when legislation and rules are constantly changing. I have discussed the challenges I face with several of my peers in different segments of the floral industry. Every single person told me their greatest concern was either uncertainty or lack of clarity.”

Red Tape Holding Back Women Entrepreneurs

“Federal regulations cost businesses just under $10,000 per employee annually, with the annual total cost burden on the typical U.S. business coming in at a $233,182,” said Anne Chambers, an entrepreneur from Cincinnati, Ohio who is the Co-Founder and CEO of Red212. “This problem is exacerbated by the government’s inability to provide long-term policies on which businesses can rely.”

In her testimony, Chambers praised H.J. Res 37, which nullifies the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) contractor blacklisting rule. She also expressed her strong support for The Regulatory Accountability Act (H.R. 5), which would strengthen the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy and allow for the issuance of smarter, less burdensome regulations that consider the direct economic effects on small businesses.

View from the Chamber’s Small Business Members

“The Chamber has heard loudly from its small business members about the problems with the torrent of federal regulations emanating from Washington, DC,” testified Maxine Turner, the Founder of Cuisine Unlimited, a small catering business based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“Research conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation probes into the costs of red tape on small business and spells out how the $1.9 trillion annual cost of federal mandates is a drag on the American economy. The Foundation study includes a survey of leaders from local chambers of commerce who are alarmed by the slump in new business startups and insist that federal regulations are largely to blame,” stated Turner, who testified on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“New opportunities for entrepreneurs, beginning with tax reform, regulatory reform, and other priorities, would result in an economic vigor that would benefit every family across this country. A health care program that meets the needs of our citizens with reasonable costs would spark new optimism,” she concluded.

You can view full video of today’s hearing HERE and read full written testimony HERE.

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Chairman Chabot Hails House Passage of Small Business Health Fairness Act

2017/03/22

WASHINGTON - House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) took to the House floor today in strong support of H.R. 1101, the Small Business Health Fairness Act. The measure was approved by a vote of 236 to 175 in the House and now advances to the U.S. Senate.

VIDEO: Chairman Chabot Speaks in Support of H.R. 1101

“For virtually any one of us in this Chamber, it can be said that hundreds of thousands of our constituents depend on small businesses for their livelihoods. They’ve been looking to those same small businesses for options as Obamacare has done the opposite of what it was supposed to do, and diminished choices for workers. By allowing small businesses to join together through association health plans, the Small Business Health Fairness Act would give small business employees at least as many choices as those who happen to work for larger companies. Association health plans have long been a solution suggested by small businesses who share their views with me and other members of the Small Business Committee, and this bill puts that idea into action.”

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Cafeteria Plans: A Menu of Non-Options for Small Business Owners

2017/03/16





Chairman Dave Brat has scheduled a hearing of the Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access titled, “Cafeteria Plans:  A Menu of Non-Options for Small Business Owners.”  The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, March 16, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.  

Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
3. Hearing Memo
4. Opening Statement 

Witnesses 

Ms. Jennifer Brown
Manager Research
National Institute on Retirement Security
Washington, DC
Testimony
Disclosure

Ms. Paula Calimafde
Chair
Small Business Council of America
Bethesda, MD
Testimony
Disclosure

Ms. Elise Feldman
President
Feldman Benefit Services, Inc.
Springfield, NJ
Testimony
Disclosure

Mr. Matt Tassey
Treasurer
National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA)
Portland, ME
Testimony
Disclosure

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Cafeteria Plans: A Menu of Non-Options for Small Business Owners

2017/03/16

WASHINGTON – Experts told a Subcommittee of the House Small Business Committee today that millions of American small business owners and employees are barred from using a popular provision of the tax code that would enable them to save on important expenses such as insurance premiums, medical costs and dependent care.

“Cafeteria plans are available across the board to large and mid-size companies, non-profits, schools, universities, and the federal government,” said Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access Chairman Dave Brat (R-VA) in his opening statement. “However, one major category of people who are not allowed to participate in a cafeteria plan is small business owners.  They can sponsor these plans for their employees, but they cannot personally participate.  This provides a disincentive to offering the plan in the first place.”

Small Business Employees Put at a Disadvantage

“In addition to health insurance premium payments, those employers that sponsor Section 125 plans can make a number of other benefits available to employees, such as the Medical Reimbursement benefit as well as the Dependent Care benefit,” testified Elise Feldman, the President of Feldman Benefit Services, Inc. “These benefits give the employees an opportunity to provide better health care for themselves and their family members, because the Section 125 plan structure enables the employees to do so more easily and more affordably (because the contributions are made on a pre-tax basis). The option to take advantage of these benefits is generally appreciated by the employees.”

Benefits of Cafeteria Plans

“Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) regulates “Cafeteria Plans,” which are tax favored methods for offering a variety of fringe benefits to employees on a pre-tax basis through a plan offered by an employer,” said Jennifer Brown, the Manager of Research at the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS). “They are called cafeteria plans because these plans give an employees the ability to select benefits from a menu set by their employer, in exchange for forgoing compensation. Some cafeteria plans offer a choice between cash and one or more type of insurance coverage, while other plans offer one or more reimbursement accounts.”

3/4 of Small Business Owners Excluded

“While employees of most large and mid-sized businesses as well as non-profits, schools, universities and the federal government can take advantage of the valuable benefits provided by cafeteria plans, most small business owners are not allowed to participate in a cafeteria plan,” said Paula Calimafde, the  Chair of the Small Business Council of America. “Specifically, cafeteria plans can be utilized by common-law employees, but not by sole proprietors, partners in a partnership, S-corporation shareholders holding an interest of 2% or greater (and by attribution, their family members) and members in a limited liability company that has elected to be taxed as a partnership. According to recent data from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), seventy-three percent of small employers are sole proprietorships, partnerships or S-corporations – meaning, that almost three quarters of small business owners are excluded from participating in a cafeteria plan.”

Plans Could Provide Flexibility for Small Businesses

“Cafeteria plans allow employers to offer flexible benefits to their workers, at a reasonable cost to both the workers and the employers,” explained Matt Tassey, the Treasurer of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA). “The flexibility of being able to let workers choose benefits best suited to their unique circumstances is often the most important reason for an employer to establish and maintain this type of benefits plan. It is unfair to pass-through business owners to exclude them from eligibility to participate in cafeteria plans. And, it may discourage these owners from offering—and paying for—cafeteria plan benefits to those who work for them. “

You can watch full video of today’s hearing here and read full testimony here.

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An Overview of SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program

2017/03/09





Chairman Trent Kelly has scheduled a hearing of the Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations titled, “An Overview of SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, March 9, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building

Attachments
Hearing Notice
Witness List
Hearing Memo
Opening Statement

Witness List

Ms. Sonya McDonald
Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer
Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union
Universal City, TX
* Testifying on behalf of the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions
Testimony 
Disclosure

Ms. Cindy Blankenship
Vice Chairman
Bank of the West
Grapevine, TX
* Testifying on behalf of the Independent Community Bankers of America
Testimony 
Disclosure

Mr. Tony Wilkinson
President and CEO
National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders
Washington, D.C.  
Testimony 
Disclosure

Mr. Edward C. Ashby III
President & CEO
Surrey Bank & Trust
Mount Airy, NC
*Testifying on behalf of the American Bankers Association
Testimony 
Disclosure




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Small Business Committee Examines SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program

2017/03/09

Popular Program Helps Entrepreneurs Access Early Capital

WASHINGTON – Today the House Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations examined the successes of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 7(a) loan program, as well as potential opportunities to strengthen and improve the program. The 7(a) loan program is the SBA’s most common loan program, which made 64,000 loans in FY2015, totaling $24.1 billion.  Today’s hearing was the first in a series of hearings and actions the Small Business Committee will be taking this year to reform and protect the popular program which helps entrepreneurs access crucial early capital.

“Our start-ups, our entrepreneurs, our small businesses—the true engines of our economy—continue to experience a rigid lending environment, said Subcommittee Chairman Trent Kelly (R-MS). “While large companies are turning to debt and equity markets to raise capital, small businesses all over the country regularly turn to conventional bank lending to finance their projects.”

At times, small firms cannot access conventional lending, so they have nowhere to turn for the capital to grow their business and create jobs. The program, which is currently running at zero cost to the American taxpayer, does not provide direct loans; rather, the SBA offers guarantees of repayments made by lenders,” explained Subcommittee Chairman Kelly, who was chairing his first hearing as the new Chairman of the Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations.  

Small Community Banks and Credit Unions Weigh In

“Small businesses are the driving force of our economy and the key to its success,” testified Sonya McDonald, the Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer of the Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union, who testified on behalf of the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions. “The ability for them to borrow and have improved access to capital is vital for the job creation that will lift our nation out of the economic malaise in which we find ourselves today. And while the Small Business Administration’s 7(a) program provides much needed opportunities to established and fledgling businesses, there are several relatively simple steps that could propel the program to its full potential.”

“A robust and sustainable 7(a) program with broad community bank participation will help small businesses thrive and create jobs, strengthening and extending a sluggish economic recovery,” said Cindy Blankenship, the Vice Chairman of Bank of the West in Grapevine, Texas, who testified on behalf of the Independent Community Bankers of America.

“The American entrepreneurial spirit is stronger than ever,” observed Tony Wilkinson, President and CEO of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders. “Unfortunately, there is a very real gap in conventional bank lending in this country and even the most qualified business owners often struggle to secure financing that meets their business needs.”

“A small business seeking capital is often offered loans with terms of 90-days to 3 years when they really need much longer term financing to thrive. The needs of this country’s small businesses have always been a depository mismatch for banks that simply cannot, or may be reluctant to, tie up their capital in long-term loans for borrowers, especially in wake of the Recession,” added Wilkinson.

You can view video of today’s hearing HERE and read full testimony HERE.

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Small Business Cybersecurity: Federal Resources and Coordination

2017/03/08








Chairman Steve Chabot has scheduled a hearing of the Committee on Small Business titled, "Small Business Cybersecurity: Federal Resources and Coordination." The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building. 

Attachments
Hearing Notice 
Witnesses 
Hearing Memo

Witnesses
The Honorable Maureen K. Ohlhausen
Acting Chairman Federal Trade Commission
Washington, DC
Testimony

Chuck Romine, Ph.D.
Director Information Technology Lab
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Gaithersburg, MD
Testimony


Mr. Charles Rowe
President & CEO
America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
Arlington, VA
Testimony
Disclosure

Mr. Jim Mooney
President and CEO
Chevron Federal Credit Union
Cybersecurity Committee Chair
National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions
Arlington, VA
*Testifying on behalf of the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions

Testimony
Disclosure 


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Small Business Cybersecurity: Coordinating Federal Resources

2017/03/08

60% of Small Businesses Close Within Six Months of a Cyber Attack

WASHINGTON –
Experts told the House Small Business Committee today that the federal government must do a better job coordinating federal resources to protect America’s 28 million small businesses from growing and varied cybersecurity threats.  

“A cyber attack can have serious consequences, not only for small businesses, but also their customers, employees, and business partners,” said Chairman Chabot.  “Sixty percent of small businesses that fall victim to a cyber attack close up shop within six months.  A 2014 survey from the National Small Business Association estimated the average cost of a cyber attack on a small business to be over $32,000.”

“In our Committee’s efforts to spotlight these serious and growing threats, it has been abundantly clear that the federal government needs to step up its game when it comes to protecting the cybersecurity of small businesses and individuals.  And, to some extent, federal agencies have begun offering resources directly to small businesses in recent years,” added Chabot.

According to a report from Verizon, 71 percent of cyberattacks occurred in businesses with fewer than 100 employees in 2012.

A DEVASTATING EFFECT ON SMALL BUSINESSES

“When implementing new technologies, small businesses need to fully understand all of the potential security risks created by connecting to the Internet,” said Chuck Romine, Ph.D., Director of the Information Technology Lab at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). “The risks to systems are so complex and pervasive that one cannot reasonably expect small businesses to be experts in all areas of security, including properly implementing security controls for complex system configurations and assessing security features associated with new and emerging technology. Cybersecurity incidents can have a devastating effect on small businesses—60% of small companies will close within six months following a cyberattack.”

THE FTC WEIGHS IN

“Reports of data breaches affecting millions of American consumers have become commonplace,” testified Maureen K. Ohlhausen, the Acting Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). “Data is an increasingly vital asset for every business, including small businesses, and as companies collect more personal information from consumers, the databases they create become more attractive targets for criminals. Hackers and others seek to exploit vulnerabilities, obtain unauthorized access to consumers’ sensitive information, and potentially misuse it in ways that can cause serious harm to consumers and businesses.”

SBDCs CAN HELP

“If a small business has any Fortune 500 companies as customers, they are an even more enticing target,” explained Charles “Tee” Rowe, the President & CEO of America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). “These secondary attacks are now a regular problem for small business. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to email attacks mimicking their banks or other trusted institutions and citing an urgent need for account or some other vital information, and often multiple employees have access to that information. Further, business accounts do not enjoy the same protection against loss as consumer accounts—something many small business owners do not discover until it’s too late.”

BACKGROUND:

  • Yesterday, Chairman Chabot made a statement on the announcement that a Chinese cellphone equipment manufacturer had plead guilty and agreed to pay a nearly $1 billion settlement to the U.S. government for violated sanctions on Iran.
  • The House Small Business Committee held several major hearings throughout the 114th Congress on foreign cyber threats to U.S. small businesses where expert witnesses identified foreign telecommunications companies as a major area of concern.
  • Cybersecurity is a key focus of the House GOP’s A Better Way to Keep Us Safe and Free. On page 23, it states: “The United States needs a more comprehensive approach to sharing information on cyber threats. Today, since most networks are interconnected, weaknesses in security can create significant vulnerabilities in both civilian and government infrastructure. Likewise, information that is valuable to one network defender is helpful to all network defenders—and must be shared. Although some private-sector actors may be reluctant to share cyber threat information, government and industry have a common goal: to prevent cyber criminals and cyber terrorists from disrupting commerce, disabling critical infrastructure, and weakening national defense.”
  • Last year, the House passed the Improving Small Business Cyber Security Act which helps small businesses facing cyber threats by providing access to additional tools and resources through existing federal cyber resources.  The bill became law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal agencies have been permitted to work through Small Business Development Centers (or SBDCs) to streamline cyber support and resources for small businesses.
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Ensuring Opportunities: Oversight of the HUBZone Program

2016/09/07

Chairman Steve Chabot has scheduled a hearing of the Committee on Small Business titled, “Ensuring Opportunities: Oversight of the HUBZone Program." The hearing will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building

Attachments
Hearing Notice
Witness List 
Hearing Memo
Hearing Video

Opening Statement (As Prepared for Delivery)
Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)

Witnesses 
Mr. William B. Shear
Director
Financial Markets and Community Investment
United States Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 
Testimony

Mr. John Shoraka
Associate Administrator
Office of Government Contracts and Business Development
United States Small Business Administration
Washington, DC
Testimony
 
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Contact Information

2361 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5821
Fax 202-225-3587
smbiz.house.gov


Membership

Steve Chabot

OHIO's 1st DISTRICT

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