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Washington Watch - June 8, 2011

Obama Administration Tackling Frivolous Regulations

Earlier this year, President Obama announced an executive order that would streamline regulations for businesses and individuals, as well as help the economy grow. The short summary provided by described it as encouraging the federal government and affiliated organizations and agencies to "always consider costs and ways to reduce burdens for American businesses when developing rules; expand opportunities for public participation and public comment; and ensure that regulations are driven by real science."

The following video outlines some of the goals of the larger regulatory plan and explains how the public can get involved.


Cass Sunstein, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

As part of the initiative, agencies including the Small Business Administration were given the opportunity to weigh-in on processes within the organization that could be addressed. Some of the most popular suggestions involved simplifying paperwork for the SBA's most popular loan and procurement programs. Some examples include, a single electronic lender application for 7(a) loan programs; auto-approving disaster loans based on credit scores; and the creation of a government contracting program eligibility website.

Recently, the NASE was asked by Congress to give thoughts on how the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, enacted into law last year, has been affecting micro-businesses and the self-employed. Read what NASE Executive Director Kristie Arslan had to say here.

When asking the public what ideas would help business owners trying to start or grow their companies, some of the suggestions to the SBA included exploring flexibility in lending criteria and pairing bank loans with guidance from small business development centers or other third parties. The plan indicated that public comments submitted thus far have been funneled to the proper offices for further review.

To view the Small Business Administration's slideshow online visit here.

Debit Card Fee Legislation Stall Failed Senate Passage

A delay for legislation that would cap the amount banks can charge retailers per debit card transaction has failed in the Senate. Both Sens. John Tester (D-Mont.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) wish to delay the onset of the law until sufficient studies have been performed by the Federal Reserve to find out possible ramifications to banks.

The measure originally passed as an amendment to the regulatory overhaul of 2010 and goes into effect in July. As part of the effort, the Fed suggested banks cap the limit that they are able to charge retailers to 12 cents per transaction, instead of a more common 1% of the total of each transaction.

SBA, NASE Offer Smartphone Apps

Smart phone users interested in starting or growing a small business can now find helpful resources at their fingertips via a new SBA mobile application from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The mobile app will help users connect with SBA district office staff and SBA-affiliated counselors and mentors who can provide free, personalized small business assistance. The user-friendly format of the app will help answer questions such as: How do I start a business? Where can I go in my area to get free help with writing a business plan? And where do I begin finding funding for my business? For more information, visit

The NASE also has a handy mobile app for iPhone users called TripAlly, which tracks, calculates and records miles driven to create the ultimate tax-deduction mileage log. Download TripAlly at the iTunes App Store or learn more at

Washington Watch Online

Visit NASE Advocacy to view archived editions of Washington Watch. While you’re there, read the latest updates from the Washington, D.C. office, write your Congressperson, and find out how you can join the fight for micro-business.

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