For decades, I have avoided getting involved in politics mostly because it has a way of seriously annoying me.
As I hope you’ve noticed, I’ve also avoided getting politic-y here at Business is Personal – maybe with the exception of discussions regarding the CPSIA.
Despite my best efforts, Congress is working overtime to pull me into their world.
And then this morning, I’m talking to a prospect who asks “Do you get involved in politics much?” Hooboy:)
Never fear, however. BIP is not here to be political. I will avoid it at every possible occasion.
Regulation is necessary
Regulation is necessary and anarchy is a pretty bad alternative. The problem is that Congress seems to be working overtime to destroy small businesses, intentional or otherwise.
Those that deserve it, so be it. Most do not, IMO.
It seems fairly obvious that we can legislate the loss of jobs a whole lot easier and faster than we can create them via legislation.
Almost 30 years ago, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) was put in place to protect small business from a “substantial impact” from new rules put in place by agencies as a result of new Federal laws.
The name sounds all nice and cuddly, doesn’t it? “Regulatory Flexibility Act” Awwww:)
The law requires an analysis of any new agency rule to make sure that it wont significantly harm a substantial number of small businesses. Agency rules implement the enforcement of legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by the President.
Problem: New rules can avoid the analysis if the enforcing agency’s head “certifies” (by publishing a statement in the Federal Register) that rule won’t adversely affect small businesses.
For example, the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) recently entered official comments into the Federal Register regarding several important CPSIA issues.
One of the things in that Federal Register entry is the RFA certification statement that says the CPSIA “doesn’t impact small business”. In that link, see page 10479, section G where they make all things right with the small business world by simply saying small businesses (even those “evil mommybloggers” who own businesses<g>) won’t be affected.
My Kingdom for Safe, Modern Food!
A new challenge for some small businesses might be HR875, which has an easy-to-like name: the “Food Safety Modernization Act“.
Not even Mr. Peanut would try to convince you that we don’t have food safety work to do.
Like the CPSIA, this law appears to target large food processing facilities, corporate farms, imported foods and so on. After all, you don’t hear about thousands being poisoned from foods purchased at the local farmer’s market.
Just like the CPSIA doesn’t differentiate between moms who sew outfits for my granddaughter and big Chinese factories that import a few thousand container loads of mass-market clothes per year, the FSMA (HR875) doesn’t differentiate between Tyson, Conagra and the guy who owns 9 chickens so he can sell eggs once a week at the local farmer’s market.
Not even the USDA-certified organic farmer escapes the FSMA’s reach.
All your chickens are belong to us
No, that is not a typo.
Yes, I regularly remind you to measure everything, so I can see the good coming from this.
The problem with the NAIS, as with the CPSIA and the FSMA, is in the cost of implementation when you compare a large corporate farm to someone who organically (or not) maintains even one head of livestock or 9 chickens.
The point of all of this? You need your trade association. If you don’t have one, start one. If yours stinks, get involved and make it better.
No, it won’t be easy, though fixing an org is easier than starting one.
Working as a Wal-Mart greeter is easy. Pushing the Staples Easy button is easy. If you wanted easy, you wouldn’t have started / bought a business.
These laws can just as easily impact your employer as they can you as a self-employed person, so you’re going to be subject to some of them one way or another.