Small Retailers Increasingly Concerned with Government (Over)Regulation

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The expanding scope and cost of government regulation are placing new burdens on America’s small businesses, hindering their ability to create jobs and drive economic growth, according to a new survey released today by the National Retail Federation, which worked with market research firm GfK.

“Overregulation is undermining the resolve of small retailers,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “To fulfill their role in driving the American economy, small businesses need the freedom to make the decisions that make sense for them instead of being burdened by one-size-fits all mandates “It’s time for lawmakers, policymakers and candidates to take a hard look at how burdensome regulations are stifling America’s entreprenurial spirit.”


While small retailers are generally optimistic about the future, the survey revealed that they are increasingly concerned about the growing volume and cost of government regulations. Among the survey’s findings are:

81% say regulations weaken the appeal of owning a business.

79% of small retailers support efforts to lower federal tax rates by eliminating tax loopholes.

73% of small retailers are concerned by the complexity of the federal tax code.

69% say they are “overwhelmed by regulations, rules, and mandates,” including labor regulations, health care mandates, tax codes and safety guidelines.

Almost 60% believe proposed regulations to fine companies that allow flexible employee schedules due to changing worker demands or business needs would hurt their businesses.

44% believe overtime expansion proposed by the Labor Department would likely result in negative consequences.

37% say raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour would either cause their business to fail or threaten its existence.

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