Small Business Research Board Study: Small Businesses Struggle with Government Compliance Still Rising According to Latest Small Business Research Board Survey; Nearly 90% of Respondents Say They Need Even More Time to Comply -- Construction / contracting industry leads all segments with 93% participating in SBRB report co-sponsored by International Profit Associates indicating that government compliance is taking longer than two years ago.

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Government regulation continues to plague small businesses despite federal efforts to reduce the time needed to meet the demands of compliance, according to a study by the Small Business Research Board (SBRB) released here today.

Various studies conducted between 2000 and 2004, including those by the task force as well as those completed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Businesses identified the source of the problem as well as its financial impact. The SBRB report clearly demonstrates that the vast majority of companies are putting more time into compliance, not less

    The SBRB report co-sponsored by International Profit Associates (IPA) said 88% of the small business owners and managers responding to the nationwide survey are finding it takes more time than it did two years ago to comply with government regulation. IPA, with more than 1,800 professionals, is the largest privately-held provider of management consulting services to small and medium-size businesses in North America. IPA is based in Buffalo Grove, IL.

Among seven leading industry segments, more construction and contracting businesses are being impacted with 93% indicating it is taking them longer to comply than two years ago.

Categorically, 92% of the operators of businesses in the transportation industry said they were spending more time to comply, finishing a close second to the construction and contracting firms.

Other industries in which government regulations are eating up more time include: automotive and retail, each with 90%, distribution / wholesaling businesses at 85%, manufacturing companies at 83% and food concerns at 80%.

The study coincided with the fifth anniversary of the signing of Federal regulations designed to reduce the stress caused by government compliance requirements. The Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002 (SBPRA) was enacted June 28, 2002 to ease the burden of Federal paperwork on small businesses.

Specifically, SBPRA directed Federal agencies to:

A) Establish a single point of contact for small businesses no later than June 28, 2003, to serve as liaison between the agency and small business concerns.

B) Establish efforts to reduce the burden of paperwork for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

C) Designate task force representatives from "applicable" departments and agencies to study the collection and dissemination of information.

D) The submission by each agency of an initial regulatory enforcement report to Congress by December 31, 2003, and a final report to Congress by December 31, 2004.

E) The direct requirement of agencies to become directly or indirectly involved in meeting other requirements of the Act such as that which requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to undertake certain activities including publishing in the Federal Register and making available on the internet (in consultation with the Small Business Administration) a list of compliance assistance resources.

"Various studies conducted between 2000 and 2004, including those by the task force as well as those completed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Businesses identified the source of the problem as well as its financial impact. The SBRB report clearly demonstrates that the vast majority of companies are putting more time into compliance, not less," said Gregg Steinberg, President of IPA.

For fiscal year 2003, for example, the OMB estimated that businesses and citizens spent approximately 8.2 billion hours and $320 billion dollars to collect and submit data to the federal government. The Federal government has more than 8,000 separate information collection requests authorized by the OMB.

According to Small Business Administration reports, small businesses represent more than 99% of all employers and in turn employ more than half of private-sector workers.

The Small Business Research Board ascertains and reports the opinions of small business owners and managers on a wide variety of topics related to their own businesses as well as national and international issues that may impact their operations. The SBRB conducts these studies for the benefit of small business owners and managers. The SBRB also provides opportunities for third parties to gain real time insight into the attitudes of small businesses nationwide through the independently conducted research.

The universe of participants is developed from among small businesses across the United States. The SBRB study is a voluntary survey conducted via phone and email.

The latest information about the Small Business Research Board can be found at http://www.ipasbrb.com.

International Profit Associates, Inc. (IPA) is the largest privately-held provider of management consulting services to small and medium-size businesses in North America. IPA and its more than 1,800 professionals offer a wide range of proven and innovative methodologies to help businesses grow and prosper regardless of the economic cycle. IPA either provides directly or through its affiliated companies a comprehensive array of business advisory services, tax and estate planning services or merger, acquisition and other financial advisory services in the United States and Canada. More information about IPA can be found at http://www.ipa-iba.com.

For more information about this poll, results of previous studies or other matters related to the SBRB, please contact Raymond D. Minkus, (847) 441-4294.

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