WASHINGTON - According to the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), its publication of a “best practices” regulatory flexibility guide gives a boost to the already strong state regulatory flexibility movement to aid small business. Regulatory flexibility addresses the disproportionate impact regulations have on small business by requiring agencies to analyze the impact of their proposed regulations and to evaluate less burdensome alternatives.

“This guide will serve as a tool to help states effectively implement their regulatory flexibility laws,” said Thomas M. Sullivan, chief counsel for Advocacy. “Now that states have recognized the importance of small business input in the regulatory process, their agencies need to put systems in place to make it happen. This guide promotes the best state practices for doing that.”

State Guide to Regulatory Flexibility for Small Businessesdetails the key elements of implementing a regulatory flexibility program. According to the guide, once a regulatory flexibility law is in place, the focus should be on making sure that regulatory officials understand the law, that small business stakeholders become a resource for agencies’ analysis efforts, and that there is strong executive leadership from the top ensuring compliance with the law or executive order.

Since the introduction of the Office of Advocacy’s state model legislation in 2002, the movement for state regulatory flexibility has gained momentum. This year Arkansas joined the list of states with active regulatory statutes or executive orders. During the past five years, 37 state legislatures have considered regulatory flexibility legislation and 19 states have implemented legislation or an executive order.

Federal and state policy makers attending the Building a Better Small Business Climate: State Regulatory Flexibility Best Practices conference, held at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Mo., received the guide. The Office of Advocacy, the Kauffman Foundation, and the Public Forum Institute co-sponsored the conference.

For more information on state regulatory flexibility for small business and a complete copy of the guide, visit the Office of Advocacy Website at www.sba.gov/advo/laws/law_modeleg.html.

Publication date:04/23/2007