Spanberger Presses U.S. Small Business Administration to Cut Red Tape for Small Businesses, Hear Concerns About Excessive Federal Regulations

In a Letter Sent to SBA Administrator Guzman, the Congresswoman Called on the Administration to Quickly Fill Vacancies Among Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards

HENRICO, V.A. — In response to concerns from Virginia small businesses, U.S. Representative Spanberger today called on the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to fully occupy each of the 10 Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards.

Enacted by Congress under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards serve as a liaison for small business owners in Virginia and across the country who report excessive or burdensome regulatory compliance by relaying concerns to agencies across the federal government. The Boards are each composed of five small business owners, operators, or officers who advise the SBA on regulatory issues impacting small businesses, report substantiated claims of excessive federal enforcement actions against small businesses, and contribute to an annual report to Congress.

In a letter sent to SBA Administrator Isabella Guzman, the Congresswoman highlighted the considerable current vacancies and pushed the Administrator to fulfill the statutory requirement by Congress that five members sit on each Board. Additionally, she encouraged the SBA to consider Virginia small business owners to fill a vacancy on the local Board.

“To guarantee a voice for small businesses across the country, the SBA must work to fully occupy each of the 10 Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards,” said Spanberger in a letter to Administrator Guzman. “Currently, there is not a single region with a complete board.”

Spanberger continued, “Region 3 — including Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia — currently has a vacant seat. I encourage the SBA to quickly fill this vacancy. As Virginia contains the second-greatest number of small business owners among the states and territories in Region 3, I also encourage you to consider small business owners from Virginia.”

Click here to read the letter, and the full letter text is below.

Dear Administrator Guzman:

I write to you today regarding concerns with vacancies on Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. Ensuring these boards are full is vital to giving small business owners a seat at the table to voice their concerns for excessive federal regulations impacting their livelihoods. 

The Office of the National Ombudsman within the Small Business Administration (SBA) is charged with assisting small businesses that report having experienced excessive or burdensome regulatory compliance. The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) requires the office to serve as a liaison for small businesses by relaying concerns regarding regulations to agencies across the federal government.

Notably, the SBREFA created 10 Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards across the SBA’s 10 regions. These boards each have five small business owners, operators, or officers who meet at least annually to advise the National Ombudsman on regulatory issues impacting small businesses, report substantiated claims of excessive federal enforcement actions against small businesses, and provide comment on the National Ombudsman’s annual report to Congress.

To guarantee a voice for small businesses across the country, the SBA must work to fully occupy each of the 10 Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. Unfortunately, the Board’s occupancy rate remained at or below 50% from FY2018 through FY2020. While it recently increased to 66% in FY2021, more work must be done. Currently, there is not a single region with a complete board.

Region 3 – including Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia – currently has a vacant seat. I encourage the SBA to quickly fill this vacancy. As Virginia contains the second-greatest number of small business owners among the states and territories in Region 3, I also encourage you to consider small business owners from Virginia.

Federal agencies issue thousands of regulations each year – and Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards give small business owners a seat at the table to advocate on behalf of small businesses within our communities.  It is vital to maximize the impact of these Boards by fulfilling the statutory requirement given by Congress that each Board contains five members.

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