Got small business problems? Congress wants to hear about them

Michael Watson Contributor
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The House Committee on Small Business wants to know what burdens small businesses face, and it has unveiled a new web service to get some answers.

A “Small Biz Open Mic” Web page now allows small business owners to communicate directly with congressional staffers about how policy affects their business. The page also offers them the opportunity to propose questions to future committee hearing witnesses.

Kevan Chapman, a spokesman with the National Federation of Independent Business, was pleased with the outreach initiative, telling The Daily Caller that the NFIB will encourage its members to use the service to make direct contact with legislators and inform them of business owners’ concerns.

Sue Hensley, a spokeswoman for the National Restaurant Association, noted that it “welcomes the opportunity for more interaction with legislators.”

The NFIB spokesman told TheDC that the user comments highlighted on the Open Mic page were “fairly reflective” of what the group hears from members. He said the top three issues its members care about are “poor sales, taxation and regulations,” and that the issue of regulatory uncertainty “tends to be big.”

The restaurant trade group added that its staff “hear a lot about the current regulatory burden,” emphasizing that in a weak economy any regulatory changes that cut into restaurateurs’ low profit margins “can be devastating.” (RELATED: C-SPAN: President never requested to air Obamacare negotiations [VIDEO])

In a press release, the congressional committee said “comments from participants about legislation and policies that impact small businesses may actually be used during actual Small Business Committee hearings.”