A hearing is scheduled for next week in Des Moines that’s designed for any business or community leaders who might feel they’re being singled out and picked on by a federal agency. Joe Folsom, district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration in Iowa, says the S.B.A. is hosting the meeting of the Regulatory Fairness Board in order to provide a forum.
"It’s an opportunity for small business owners, community leaders, representatives of trade associations, to voice issues and concerns they may have about excessive and unfair enforcement of federal rules against their businesses or organizations," he says. Small businesses in Iowa are regulated by a host of federal agencies — from the F.D.A. to the F.C.C. to the U.S.D.A. Folsom says merchants can sometimes feel like they’ve been targeted by Uncle Sam and may think they have no legal recourse.
"They may have an issue regarding a sense of retaliation or excessive penalties or fines, repetitive audits or investigations, or what they perceive as other types of unfair practices relating to federal regulations," Folsom says. He says this hearing will be attended by the S.B.A.’s national ombudsman and is a means by which small businesses can make their voices heard.
"Those folks that do have these kinds of issues and concerns can voice them in an atmosphere that is non-threatening," Folsom says. "And we’ll assure that those issues get carried to the highest level within those federal agencies and they will receive a response." The forum is September 5th in Des Moines. For details, to register to speak at the forum or to submit written testimony, call (515) 284-4522 or e-mail: "firstname.lastname@example.org".