Do Entrepreneurs Really Feel it’s National Small Business Week?

May 12, 2014 –

In its 51st year, the annual charade is underway. The week traditionally highlights government events for entrepreneurs.

President Barack Obama proclaimed May 12 to 16 as National Small Business Week 2014 in saying the right things about small business: “the lifeblood of our economy, employing half of our country’s workforce and creating nearly two out of every three new American jobs.”

But governments’ lip service to small business is underwhelming.

"Do Not Track" legislation bad for business?

Not to be a spoil sport, but it doesn’t feel as though the federal government has given us sufficient reasons for a celebration. That’s why it’s been ignored on this portal until a blog was published June 17, 2013 at Washington Policy Center (WPC),

It was written by Erin Shannon, the director of the Center for Small Business at WPC.

In her piece, “It’s Nice to Acknowledge Small Business Week – but Actions Speak Louder than Words,” she asserts:

“The Competitive Enterprise Institute reports the Obama Administration is ‘in a class by itself’ when it comes to ‘economically significant’ rules, which are defined by the feds as those estimated to cost the private sector at least $100 million each.

In the first three years of Obama’s Administration (2009-2011), 106 ‘economically significant’ regulations were put in place, with a cost to the private sector of $46 billion annually.  The Administration finished 57 ‘economically significant’ regulations in 2012, and another 167 are in the works.

So far this year, 26 of these ‘economically significant’ regulations affect small business.

It isn’t just the economically significant regulations that are proliferating and costing businesses and consumers more money.  According to the CEI report, the Code of Federal Regulations hit an all-time high of 174,545 pages in 2012, an increase of more than 21% over the past decade.  The number of pages in the Federal Register, which includes new rules as well as proposed rules and supporting documents, has also grown.  Obama set the all-time record of 81,045 pages in 2010, and his Administration has the dubious honor of posting three of the four largest paperwork years on record.”

Washington state government

But she doesn’t stop at the federal level. Washington state is equally unproductive.

“Over the course of two years (2011-2012), during which there was a moratorium on “non-critical” agency rulemaking, state agencies imposed a total of 805 new, permanent rules and 909 temporary, emergency rules that together fill 15,754 pages and change 10,047 sections of the Washington Administrative Code.

The Washington Economic Development Commission (WEDC), which is comprised of stakeholders representing business and labor, agency directors and lawmakers from both parties, says the key to job growth is to reform our state’s regulatory policies.  In a strongly worded condemnation of our state’s regulatory climate, the WEDC says, ‘Washington’s overly burdensome regulatory system must be addressed as a top economic development priority.’”

She pointed out Washington state Governor Jay Inslee hadn’t joined in the recognition of small business.

She also reminds us of WPC’s astute “long-standing policy recommendations to improve our state’s business climate.” Indeed, they’re certainly worth reviewing and enacting.


And how is the city of Seattle helping small business?

The city engineered two threats to small business:

— The Seattle City Council passed its “Job Assistance Bill.” Effective November 1, 2013, this means employers cannot ask job applicants about their criminal history until after the initial screening process. That is, unless employers can show they have a “legitimate business reason,” a dubious exception.

— And then there’s the new minimum wage: $15.

Businesspeople and human resources folks will have fun. Neither threats will help small business. They’ll lead to higher prices, drive entrepreneurs elsewhere, and will decrease opportunities for low-skill workers.

From the Coach’s Corner, you can read more about government/public policy issues here.

Rather than just pointing out the flaws in government policy, here are related small business tips:

Don’t let Minimum Wage Mandates Ruin Your Business — Your cash flow, credit access, pricing and profit margins are all directly or indirectly at-risk with the proposed mandates to increase the minimum wage. Workers should be paid well, if they’re good performers.

Minimizing Liability and Managing an OSHA Inspection — Government is making it harder and harder to run a business. Many business owners dread onerous government regulations, including from OSHA.

Small Business – Easy Ways to Boost Your Employees’ Morale — Employee morale affects performance. Study after study shows a significant percentage of worker morale is mediocre, at best. That’s often the case even for companies that are able to pay competitive wages and benefits.

Searching for Profits? Escape the Wilderness of Uncertainty — The quest for profits is challenging if you’re lost in the wilderness of uncertainty. But success is possible. Hard work isn’t a cure-all for success in business. True, passion and enthusiasm help to a degree, as well. But success requires more than just these qualities.

“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”
-Will Rogers


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.