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NJBIA Says Help Small Businesses by Enhancing Regulatory Flexibility Act

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Small businesses could see relief from state government regulations under legislation enhancing the New Jersey Regulatory Flexibility Act, which is scheduled for a vote today in the Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee.

The New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) has long supported the bill as a way to make it easier for small businesses to succeed here, Vice President of Government Affairs Andrew Musick said.

"Enhancing the Regulatory Flexibility Act will help minimize the impact of rules and regulations on small businesses, allowing entrepreneurs and small business owners to focus more attention on running their businesses," Musick said.

The bill, A-3578 (Wirths, R-24; Murphy, D-7), enhances New Jersey's Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) by taking additional steps to recognize and address the impact regulations have on small businesses.  According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses represent over 99 percent of all businesses located in New Jersey, Musick pointed out. 

"The bill promotes a more simplified reporting process, and requires regulatory agencies to more appropriately contemplate the impact their regulations have on small businesses," Musick said in testimony prepared for this afternoon's committee meeting. "Furthermore, there is an opportunity for judicial review if a small business owner petitions the department or agency, based on the assertion that the agency failed to comply with the act, or if the regulatory flexibility analysis was incomplete."

The bill would apply to businesses that employ fewer than 100 full-time employees or having gross annual sales of less than $6 million. Agencies would be required to consider the impact of existing rules on small businesses when they are proposing to continue them beyond the expiration date.

The bill requires an agency to consolidate or simplify compliance or reporting requirements for small businesses, as long as the public health, safety, or general public welfare is not endangered.  It also would establish a process for small businesses to petition the agency directly if they are adversely affected by the rule. If the agency rejects the petition, the businesses can appeal to the courts.

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