(Reno, NV) – A dozen business owners shared their frustration with Congressman Mark Amodei (R-NV) this week about this economy and how the actions of the Obama Administration are impacting their business.
Then Congressman Amodei expressed his frustration that Congress, and specifically the Senate, is not taking action to fix this economy and help small business in the SilverState.
“The House has passed over 260 bills, but the Senate has refused to bring any for them up for a hearing or a vote,” said Amodei. “The House is doing its job.”
Amodei met business owners at a roundtable discussion sponsored by the Small Business for Sensible Regulations coalition, a project of the National Federation of Independent Business. All of them expressed frustration and the growing regulatory burden, while one entrepreneur said she recentlysold her business because of impending federal mandates.
Robyn Mitchell explained one of the main reasons she chose recently to sell and close her radiology business in south Reno was some of the mandates coming from the Affordable Health Care Act.
“We watched our insurance reimbursements go down about 50% the past few years, while the Medicare payments also continued to decline,” said Mitchell, who co-owned Reno Open Air MRI. “But when we saw the expense we’d have to take on to meet the mandates from ObamaCare for changing all our insurance claim codes and starting electronic medical records, it was just to much of an investment.”
Debra W. Struhsacker, an Environmental Permitting & Government Relations Consultant to the mining industry said that thanks to regulations she has a job, but that the regulatory creep is becoming more and more onerous to businesses of all sizes.
“Ten years ago the federal paperwork was a few inches thick, but today the pile can get up to four feet high,” said Struhsacker.
Cami Prinn of Mine Development Associates said that 50 percent of her clients work out of country because it’s too hard to get permits to mine in the US.
“It takes 10 years to permit a mine now,” said Prinn. “We rank internationally as the county with the highest environmental regulatory burden.”
“We are getting our minerals from China instead of mining them here,” said Ann Carpenter, also a mining and renewable energy consultant.
Amodei, a former CEO of the Nevada Mining Association, said that while regulations are needed to ensure that mining companies do mine in an environmentally sound manner, and there is a lot of attention paid to this, the reality is that less than 1 percent of the surface land in Nevada is affected by mining.
Greg Latimer of Triad Technologies expressed his frustration with the inconsistencies of safety inspectors who come through his manufacturing plant.
“Each person has a different emphasis and finds something wrong that the last guy didn’t have a problem with,” said Latimer. “And the attitude has gone from one where they work with you to help create a safer environment, to one of fining you for every possible infraction.”
Amodei challenged the business owners to ask regulators what is the authority for this regulation?
“Ask them what chapter in the Federal Register gives them the authority to take that action,” said Amodei. “We need to be asking that, or there will continue to be this creep in regulatory power.”
All agreed that over-regulation is one of the biggest challenges they face in running their business. Impending regulations causeuncertainty, which makes it nearly impossible to plan for the future. Hiring and capital improvements are put on hold when you don’t know what the tax rate will be or what expenditures you’ll have to make to meet a new regulation.