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Fred Horner

Fred Horner is the owner of Advanced Industrial Roofing.
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Washington Needs to Focus on Regulating to Help, not Hinder, Small Business Growth

Friday, March 23rd, 2012 - by Fred Horner

Owning your own business is not for the weak of heart.  Especially in the tough economy over the last few years, small business owners worry every day about their livelihood and that of their employees.

Advanced Industrial Roofing, which I own and operate, provides commercial and residential roofing to our customers. While we have been successful and grown the business, in recent years the myriad of rules and regulations passed down from Washington have hurt rather than helped.

This past fall OSHA created new certification regulations that were previously unnecessary and in my view, are redundant of procedures we follow already.  By forcing me to spend over $400 per employee, new compliance costs mounted and my bottom line suffered.

Let me be clear. I value and respect the role some regulations play in keeping my workers safe.  They ensure safety and promote responsibility.  However, OSHA, and other federal agencies, should be focused on helping small businesses, not creating new rules that hinder growth. The focus on trying to catch us doing something wrong and punishing rather than helping with compliance is counterproductive and needs to be changed.

I am not alone in believing this. A recent survey by Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations , a broad coalition of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, indicates federal regulatory policy is creating real problems for small businesses by restricting their ability to hire, invest, and grow. The survey found that nine out of ten Americans think the government should help small businesses comply with regulations and three out of four Americans would prefer the government to focus on creating jobs instead of new rules and regulations.

The federal government has created such a regulatory maze that small business owners are left to wonder what the future holds.  In my view, we need reform in Washington to ensure our regulatory process is accountable and to make sure we don’t lose the entrepreneurial spirit that made this country great.

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