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House committee announces ‘small biz regulatory watch’ to help companies cope with regulations

Missouri Republican Rep. Sam Graves, the chairman of the House small business committee, announced a new “small business regulatory watch” on Thursday. The initiative will monitor changes in regulations and their impact on businesses, and will also instruct small business owners on how to comment on proposed rules.

“Most small businesses don’t have lawyers or lobbyists who focus on regulatory compliance, like larger corporations may have,” said Graves in a statement. “Therefore, our Committee wants to help them participate in the federal government rule-making process.”

The committee calls the new initiative “reverse lobbying.”

“It’s important that we communicate to Washington and its regulators that there are real negative impacts and consequences to over-regulating,” said Arizona Republican Rep. David Schweikert, chairman of the Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations. “This new initiative will keep small businesses current with the goings on in the regulatory community and ensure they have the opportunity to contribute as new regulations are being formulated and applied.”

The regulatory cost burden grew by $236 billion last year, according to the American Action Forum. That is the largest growth in the last 12 years. (RELATED: 2012 sees boom in regulation)

According to the small business committee, small businesses “pay a regulatory compliance cost that is 36 percent higher than large businesses.”

Because small businesses bear a regulatory cost that is much higher than the cost of compliance for large businesses, our Committee wants to help small companies make their voice heard as federal regulations are being considered,” Graves said.

Roughly 4,100 new regulations are currently in the pipeline.

The committee will try to engage small businesses through email, social media and local district events throughout the rule-writing process.

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