Get Started: Regulatory snags explored at hearing; law firms set to hire; spotlight on lending
By Associated Press, Published: June 18
THE IMPACT OF REGULATIONS
Small company owners told the House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce last week that federal regulations are raising costs and creating more work for them and other owners.
The subcommittee, meeting in Rock Hill, S.C. on Thursday, heard testimony from local business owners about the impact of federal regulations on their companies. Rock Hill is located in the district of Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., the subcommittee chairman.
Regulations that are part of the health care overhaul will increase the cost of health benefits between 100 percent and 150 percent at Carolina Ingredients, said Doug Meyer-Cuno, president of the company, which manufactures seasonings and other food products.
"That means our annual health care cost of $125,000 will eventually range between $200,000 and $300,000," he said. Carolina has 51 employees.
Another witness talked about the many regulations involved in getting contracts with the government.
"The process for a company to go through to do business with the government is complicated and they simply do not know where to go to find out what is necessary," said Charles O'Cain, owner of Owl Business Consulting.
"There is no one place a small business can go to find out what they have to do," he said.
LAW FIRMS ARE HIRING
The legal profession is hiring again after being forced to cut staff during the recession, according to a survey by Robert Half Legal, a staffing firm.
The survey found that nearly a third of the lawyers surveyed plan to bring on full-time legal help during the third quarter. They expect to hire lawyers, paralegals and legal secretaries.
Law firms were hit hard by the recession. The drop in business activity and the crash in the housing market across left lower demand for their services. Many firms were forced to lay off attorneys, paralegals and administrative staff.
The survey found that lawyers are increasingly optimistic about the business climate. Eighty-four percent of the survey participants said they are at least somewhat confident about their firms' prospects for the third quarter. That's up 16 points from the survey about the second quarter.
The survey was based on interviews with 200 lawyers.
HEARING ON LENDING
Lending to small companies will be the topic of hearing Thursday held by the House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations. The hearing will look at the regulations that it says burden the Small Business Administration's lending programs. It will also look at how the SBA can make its lending programs operate more efficiently.
Witnesses at the hearing will include lenders. The hearing comes two weeks after SBA Administrator Karen Mills told the committee that the agency is taking steps to increase its supervision of lenders. She also said nearly 350 lenders that weren't complying with the agency's standards for making loans to small businesses were dropped from the loan program.
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