Feeling Overregulated? Call the SBA Ombudsman

Filed in Codes and Standards by on August 14, 2017 1 Comment

red tapeWhen Randy Strauss testified earlier this month about the strangling effects of regulatory overreach on his Ohio home building business, he knew that his audience – staff from the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) – was listening carefully.

And after the meeting, an SBA staff member singled him out to make sure that he knew that home builders and other small businesses don’t have to wait for an invitation to let the feds know when things are a little haywire.

“The SBA has an ombudsman. I didn’t know such a thing existed – that there is a federal agency out there that helps people out when you have a problem with a federal agency.”

In fact, the mission of the SBA National Ombudsman’s office is “to assist small businesses when they experience excessive or unfair federal regulatory enforcement actions, such as repetitive audits or investigations, excessive fines, penalties, threats, retaliation or other unfair enforcement action by a federal agency,” according to its website.

Now Strauss, NAHB’s Ohio state representative, wants to make sure everyone knows about it. He sent an email to his list of Ohio NAHB members with whom he keeps in regular contact so they know what’s happening in the association’s state and national offices and included the SBA Ombudsman contact information.

“Right away, I heard from a guy who is in the middle of talking to the Department of Labor because they are misclassifying his workers,” trying to get him to pay overtime to a subcontractor’s employees, Strauss said. That employer is contacting the ombudsman’s office at Strauss’s suggestion. “We shouldn’t always have to hire expensive attorneys to make sure we aren’t overregulated,” he said.

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  1. Lauree says:

    Thank you so much for this information!

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