The Committee on Small Business hearing titled, “Small Business Tax Reform: Modernizing the Code for the Nation’s Job Creators,” originally scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, September 27, has been rescheduled. The hearing has been rescheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 in 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
CINCINNATI – Today, Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Linda McMahon, and House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH), visited Cincinnati manufacturer Faxon Machining for a tour of the facility and for a roundtable discussion with several local small businesses.
“I take every opportunity I can to hear straight from small businesses about what is working or what barriers they are still facing in the current economy. Not surprisingly, a majority of the businesses today were most concerned with burdensome federal regulations and the increasing complexities of the tax code. I couldn’t agree more and have been leading our Committee to address these issues in our hearings and the legislation we help pass, an effort which includes working with our colleagues on other committees. Our tax code needs to work for, not against, small businesses, and we need to continue pushing for real regulatory reform,” said Chairman Chabot.
“I thank Administrator McMahon for visiting and continuing to listen to small business concerns here in Ohio and across the nation,” Chabot added.Chairman Chabot has introduced legislation, H.R. 3717, the Small Business Owners’ Tax Simplification Act, to create more clarity within the tax code as well as H.R. 33, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, which passed the House as part of H.R. 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act.
WASHINGTON – This week, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) sent a letter to two House Education and the Workforce Subcommittees in support of H.R. 3441, the “Save Local Business Act,” of which he is an original co-sponsor. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) expanded its definition of the joint employer standard in 2015, creating confusing and new challenges for small businesses that want to work with other small and large firms to expand their companies.
“Small businesses have been hurting under this rule for the last two years and it’s time we put an end to it. Under the new standard, a potential small business owner may avoid buying a franchise because of the risk of being punished for the actions of a franchiser. It has also created a lot of confusion and unnecessary challenges for job creators that just want to grow their companies,” said Chairman Chabot. “This legislation will restore certainty to America’s small business owners and their employees so that they can continue to operate their businesses locally and independently.”
As Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, Chairman Chabot has heard firsthand how the new joint employer standard threatens small businesses. The Committee held a roundtable in April 2015 and in March 2016 held a hearing on the issue titled, “Risky Business: Effects of new Joint Employer Standards for Small Firms” to examine how the expanded rule impacted small businesses.### Read More
WASHINGTON - Today, Members of the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology heard from a panel of entrepreneurial experts on the technological evolution of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Entrepreneurial Development Programs. Many of these programs have adapted their curricula to reflect the increased reliance on technology small businesses must utilize in order to be more competitive in the market.
“As technology has continued to advance, businesses of all sizes have adopted various forms of technology as a way to increase efficiency and decrease costs,” said Subcommittee Chairwoman Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS). “And as this reliance on technology has become more prevalent, more and more small businesses have found that an increased use of these technological tools is necessary to allow their businesses to compete and succeed in the market.”
A Changing Economy Calls for New Strategies
SBA has a range of entrepreneurial development programs throughout the country to help small business owners navigate the complexities of opening their own shop. They include the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), and Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs).
“The advent of the internet, email, and cell phones more than a decade ago ensured that all businesses would need to change. I am proud to say that WBCs have adopted new technology for the betterment of the entrepreneurs that rely on us,” said Marsha Bailey, Founder and CEO of Women’s Economic Ventures in Santa Barbara, CA. “Technology allowing for distance-learning fills a gap in needs in rural areas in particular, where in-person services are simply not an option. Some WBCs have established computer labs, both stationary and mobile, which are particularly important for rural areas where access to broadband is not always available.”
“Customers are driving the demand for digital interactions. Among recent Microsoft survey respondents, an equal number wanted in-person and digital experiences including website, email and social media,” added Scott R. Daugherty, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of the North Carolina Small Business Technology Development Center in Raleigh, NC. “As companies move toward digital engagement, clients become accustomed to the fast response and it becomes an expectation.”
“Technology is not new to SCORE, but its constant evolution presents a powerful opportunity for SCORE to continue to serve our clients when and how they want to be served. For this reason, SCORE has successfully integrated technology into every aspect of our business practices,” said Bridget Weston Pollack, Vice President of Marketing and Communications with the SCORE Association in Herndon, VA. “In addition to technology-focused mentoring, SCORE regularly develops and shares the best and most current technology resources and educational materials via our website and distribution channels.”
“VBOCs primary mission is to conduct entrepreneurial development training dealing specifically with the key issues of self-employment, meaning owning and succeeding in a business of their own,” said Brent Peacock, Director at the Veterans Business Outreach Center at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, FL. “Thanks to the rapid pace of technology an online learning, we can Skype, use webinars, and employ online resources to help dozens of clients in a day. Technology has made a significant impact on our productivity and effectiveness as a government funded entity.”
The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Serving Small Businesses: Examining the Effectiveness of HUBZone Reforms.” The hearing will take place at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
The hearing will examine legislation updating the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) Program, which seeks to provide federal contracting opportunities to small businesses in economically distressed areas of the country. H.R. 3294 is a bipartisan, comprehensive HUBZone reform bill designed to address concerns brought by small businesses as well as the Government Accountability Office
WASHINGTON – Today, the House Small Business Committee heard from small businesses within the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program. Specifically, the Committee heard testimony on H.R. 3294, the “HUBZone Unification and Business Stability Act,” introduced by Ranking Member Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH).
“The program’s core mission is to bring economic hope, independence, jobs, and businesses to depressed areas marked by high unemployment and poverty. This is accomplished through the use of federal contracting preferences. H.R. 3294 helps the program achieve its mission objectives by providing legislative solutions to the challenges and weaknesses identified by small businesses and government watchdogs,” said Chairman Steve Chabot.
Because HUBZone area determinations frequently change, as often as annually and potentially several times per year, small businesses are unable to anticipate shifts in HUBZone area designations and do not know when they will occur.
“The uncertainty resulting from the annual designation updates not only impacts HUBZone companies, it negatively impacts the economic stability of the communities in which the company and employees reside. I am pleased to see that the Committee has taken steps to address this issue and others in H.R. 3294,” said Shirley Bailey, President and Board Chair of the HUBZone Contractors National Council in Washington, D.C.
“In my view, H.R. 3294 provides much needed stability to companies like mine. Clinton County, home of Wilmington, will lose its HUBZone designation in 2018. I certainly favor the approach in H.R. 3294 which freezes the current HUBZone eligibility maps until 2020. It would provide us with the transition time our firm needs while we decide how to keep our valued employees and finding a new office,” said Robert A. Schuerger, II, Principal and Attorney at Law at the Law Offices of Robert A. Schuerger Co., LPA in Columbus, OH.
“So my message to you echoes what we have heard from my fellow HUBZone firms. We need you to give HUBZone firms stability by extending the re-designation period as you have in HR 3294. This bill, which was introduced by both the Ranking Member and the Chairman, if enacted now, will freeze the HUBZone map until 2020 and then only be changed every 5 years. This will give communities and their businesses time to build resources to compete in a post HUBZone environment,” said Dennis DuFour, President of TDEC in Oakland, MD.
“Wovenware is a perfect example of a company that would greatly benefit from revisions to the current HUBZone program. Not only do we have the expertise, experience and drive to provide needed technology services that rival or exceed the capabilities of other U.S. companies, but securing more federal contracts would enable us to organically grow our business, employ more local workers and contribute to the revitalization of the economy in Puerto Rico,” said Carlos Melendez, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder at Wovenware in San Juan, P.R.
WASHINGTON – Today, House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement after sending a letter to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Equifax, Richard Smith, following the data breach that potentially affected 143 million Americans:
“With more than 140 million Americans’ personal information at stake, my hope is that Equifax responds quickly to our concerns on the data breach. We need to ensure that we minimize the damage inflicted upon everyone, but for us particularly, the small business community,” said Chairman Steve Chabot.
In the letter, Chairman Chabot stated:
“The compromised information includes, at a minimum, names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and addresses, as well as credit card numbers for over 200,000 consumers.”
In light of its concerns, the Committee requested the following information as soon as possible, but by no later than noon on Tuesday, September 26, 2017:
1. How many small businesses/owners are affected by the data security breach?
2. Who is responsible for the data breach, how did the perpetrators penetrate Equifax’s cyber defenses, and, specifically, what information was compromised?
3. What effort is Equifax making to assist its customers who own small businesses in securing their personal information and preventing future fraudulent activity as a result of this cyber breach?
4. What steps is Equifax taking to ensure the small business owners impacted by the data breach will not be adversely effected when applying for credited to start or expand their business operations?
The full letter can be read HERE.
Earlier this week, the House Small Business Committee sent a separate letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging action on the data breach.Read More
“The Equifax data breach is a disturbing reminder that there are cyber security threats that span the grid. From the Department of Defense, to Fortune 500 companies, to the smallest mom and pop shop in your neighborhood, these threats and breaches must be taken seriously in an ever-increasingly connected economy,” said Chairman Steve Chabot.
In the letter, Chairman Chabot stated:
“The compromised information includes, at a minimum, names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and addresses, as well as credit card numbers for over 200,000 consumers. The Committee has concerns regarding the cyber incident’s impact on America’s small business community.”
The Committee called for answers to the following questions by no later than September 25, 2017:
1. How many small businesses/owners are affected by the data security breach?
2. What steps is the FTC taking to assist its customers who own small businesses to secure their personal information and prevent future fraudulent activity as a result of this cyber breach?
3. What steps is the FTC taking to ensure that small business owners impacted by the data breach will not be adversely affected when applying for credit to start or expand their business operations?
4. What is the current status of the FTC’s engagement with Equifax, and how is the FTC working with Equifax to ensure that all necessary precautions are being taken to protect the personal information of Equifax’s customers?
5. What effort, if any, is the FTC making to encourage TransUnion and Experian to take necessary precautions to prevent future attacks?
The full letter can be read HERE.Read More
WASHINGTON – Recently, Vice Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) wrote an op-ed in the News Tribune in Jefferson City, MO about the House Small Business Committee hearing titled, “How Streamlining Federal Permitting Can Cut Red Tape for Small Business.” The hearing examined how federal permitting requirements burden small businesses and ways to streamline the process.
“As many of you know, before a business can begin a construction project it is required to obtain a myriad of permits from the federal government. The federal permitting system is a complex and costly regulatory network, particularly in the construction industry,” stated Vice Chairman Luetkemeyer.
“The National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are just a few examples that place undue burdens on small businesses through the permitting process. Often times these laws produce unnecessary and duplicative regulations with multiple government agencies regulating the same actions,” added Luetkemeyer.
To read Vice Chairman Luetkemeyer’s full op-ed, click HERE.
WASHINGTON - Today, House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) introduced H.R. 3717, the Small Business Owners’ Tax Simplification Act, to create more clarity within the tax code and allow small business owners to both offer and participate in cafeteria plans. Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) is an original co-sponsor of this bill.
“Thanks to the innovation of today’s small business owners, we can now order food or catch a ride from our phone. Unfortunately, though, our current tax code has not kept pace with today’s innovators,” said Chairman Chabot.
“Issues such as a whether a worker is considered an employee or contractor still need to be addressed and updated. Additionally, small business owners should be allowed to participate in Health Savings Accounts and pension plans offered to their employees to best meet the needs of their company. Whether a small business is offering a ride, making a delivery, or manufacturing new technology, it’s time we fixed the inequalities they face within our tax code,” Chabot concluded.
“Our tax code no longer works for small businesses and is too outdated to keep up with the needs of a new generation of entrepreneurs in the sharing economy. Over 3 million people earn income as microentrepreneurs through the sharing economy. But, because the tax code has not been updated since 1986, it creates complexities that serve to stifle their efforts and burden them with additional costs,” said Ranking Member Velázquez
“These are not the only policies creating inequities for small employers. From reporting deadlines and filing thresholds to health and benefit plan parity for the self-employed, small business owners need a better tax code. I am pleased that the Chairman and I could come together to draft a bipartisan tax package to address the tax needs of small firms in every industry,” Velázquez added.
WASHINGTON – Today, Members of the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access heard from a panel of key experts on the challenges small businesses face when dealing with the skills gap in the labor market.
“In just the past year, the number of job vacancies grew from 5.5 to 6.2 million, which is the highest in this century,” said Subcommittee Chairman Dave Brat (R-VA). “Although large businesses may have the resources to staff recruiting departments and offer better wages and benefits, resource strapped small businesses are left at a significant disadvantage.”
Find, Hire, Retain: Challenges Owners Face in Today’s Labor Market
From academia to manufacturing, electrical construction, and even grocers, witnesses with a wide array of backgrounds spoke to the challenges that small businesses endure with the labor market America faces today. High taxes, burdensome regulations, and the skills gap, are just a handful of the small business trials the panel discussed during today’s hearing.
“It seems indisputable that a skills gap does exist in the labor market, but importantly, this issue is probably best characterized as being unique to each company. Importantly, though, any tax code changes should be broadly based and available to all workers and employers, rather than favoring some industries or skills over others. Additionally, programs and policies that reduce the potential workforce available to employers should be reformed,” noted Dr. Michael D. Farren, Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Arlington, VA.
“A number of different factors have contributed to the current workforce shortages in the electrical contracting industry. One of those is the fact that many left during the recession and never returned. In addition, much of the skilled trades’ workforce is retiring or is approaching retirement,” said Bruce L. Seilhammer, a member of the Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc. and the Electrical Construction Group Manager at SECCO, Inc. in Camp Hill, PA. “Government-mandated ratios vary across the country, and serve as artificial restrictions that prevent us from training the future electrician help to close this skills gap.”
“The manufacturing sector has struggled to find the right workers and it is impacting our ability to successfully compete in the global economy and grow our industry,” added Gardner Carrick, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at The Manufacturing Institute in Washington, D.C. “These jobs need to be filled if the manufacturing sector and the U.S. economy are going to remain strong and globally competitive. Fortunately, manufacturing companies are stepping up to offer solutions to this challenge, in partnership with local high schools, community colleges, and technical schools.”
“Obamacare mandates on small business serve as a perfect example of a regulation with good intentions that have created an additional burden for our business,” said Carlos Castro, Founder of Todos Supermarkets in Woodbridge, VA. “Costly regulations often take up too much of our time and resources, and pose a serious barrier to hiring new talent, According to National Grocers Association (NGA) data, the average grocer can expect to spend between 40 and 50 thousand dollars a year on regulatory compliance per store, per year.”Read More
Currently, small businesses must comply with many overlapping layers of federal permits. Obtaining all of the correct permits requires successful navigation through a complex regulatory system of federal laws and regulations and takes a significant amount of time and money. The hearing will examine how federal permitting requirements burden small businesses and ways to streamline the permitting process.Attachments:
Mr. Louis A. Griesemer
Springfield Underground, Inc.
*Testifying on behalf of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association
Mr. Mark Hayden
Missoula Electric Cooperative
Ms. Margot Dorfman
U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce
WASHINGTON – Last week, a federal judge struck down the Obama administration’s costly Department of Labor’s (DOL) overtime rule. House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) commended the decision in the following statement:
“Small business owners, and their employees, can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they will have to worry about one less burdensome rule that hurts their business or affects their job. This is an issue the Committee has been working hard to reverse. I look forward to working with the new Administration as the Department of Labor continues to get feedback from stakeholders about what would be most favorable to small business owners,” said Chairman Chabot.
Chairman Chabot and Committee Republicans have focused on the DOL overtime rule throughout the 114th and 115th Congress.
The Department of Labor is still inviting stakeholders to submit public comments on the overtime rule. For more information, the Committee has put together a Regulatory Watch page on our website to track regulatory proposals that have been published in the Federal Register and are open for public comment.
The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Protecting Small Businesses from Cyber Attacks: the Cybersecurity Insurance Option.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office
The hearing will examine how cybersecurity insurance solutions can help small businesses recover from a cyber attack. Additionally, the hearing will examine the challenges small businesses face in selecting a cybersecurity insurance policy and the hurdles insurers must overcome to offer viable and comprehensive cybersecurity insurance solutions.
The Committee on Small Business Subcommittees on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade and Health and Technology will meet for a joint hearing titled, “21st Century Medicine: How Telehealth Can Help Rural Communities.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, July 20, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
The hearing will focus on the current utilization of telehealth services and how expansion of telehealth services could benefit small businesses and rural communities.
The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Reversing the Entrepreneurship Decline.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
The hearing will provide the Committee with an opportunity to understand the entrepreneurship trends, challenges, and opportunities that exist in the United States. This hearing will also examine how entrepreneurship influences leading economic indicators and potential solutions to promote new and existing small businesses
The Subcommittees on Contracting and Workforce and Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access will meet for a joint hearing titled, “The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act: State of Small Business Contracting.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, July 13, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
3. Hearing Memo
Mr. William Shear
Financial Markets and Community Investment
United States Government Accountability Office
Mr. Robb N. Wong
Office of Government Contracting and Business Development
United States Small Business Administration
The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Help or Hindrance? A Review of SBA’s Office of the Chief Information Officer.” The hearing will take place at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
The Committee will examine the Small Business Administration’s Office of the Chief Information Officer and whether it is operating efficiently and effectively.
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
3. Hearing Memo