SBA's Chief Counsel Speaks at the State Chamber's Small Biz Forum

Article excerpt

President George W. Bush has a simple plan for turning the economy around, Thomas Sullivan told those in attendance at The State Chamber's small business forum on Tuesday. Sullivan serves as chief counsel for the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy.

(Bush's) domestic policy from an economic standpoint is very simple, said Sullivan. It's all about small business.

Small businesses are quantum leaps ahead of their larger counterparts when it comes to new product innovation and job creation, Sullivan said. Small business development is the driving force in the nation's economy. Coming out of a recession, small businesses are the only ones who hire, said Sullivan.

It's the job of the SBA's Office of Advocacy to make sure small businesses are allowed to prosper and grow. Sullivan's office serves as a watchdog, guarding against federal regulations that would pose a burden on small businesses.

Sullivan said his agency informs policy debate. Through research, data collection and soliciting input from small business owners, the SBA is able to provide facts and statistics when arguing its case against a particular regulation.

Where there is a problem, a national problem, there is a rush to create new laws to solve it - that's what happens in Washington, D.C., whether it's terrorism or corporate lawbreakers, said Sullivan. Sometimes, my office's role is to throw cold water on this and say, 'Let's step back for a minute, let's bring small business to the table to seek out their advice on what to do and then make a decision.'

The Office of Advocacy reminds government agencies that they are required by law to consider what impact new regulations will have upon small businesses. Due to the office's efforts, American small businesses saved an estimated $21 billion last year they would have otherwise spent trying to comply with federal regulations. …