Small business owners from across Iowa are invited to attend one of this week’s three roundtable talks to offer input about how federal regulations impact their operations.

Emily Theroux, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Small Business Administration, says a serious effort is underway to eliminate outdated and ineffective federal regulations.

“We began this roundtable initiative to help put small business owners at the forefront of the regulatory reform discussion,” Theroux says. “If federal agencies are getting rid of regulations anyway, let’s first consider the regulations that are most costly to small businesses.” Theroux says the agency has held these talks in 17 states in recent months and the reactions are similar everywhere.

“Really, it’s difficult to find a small business that’s not impacted by regulations,” Theroux says. “We’ve almost gone over time listening to small businesses talk about the regulatory environment and how regulations are causing a lot of harm to their ability to grow.” It’s more than just an opportunity for small business owners to vent, according to Theroux. She says the grievances being aired can lead to immediate action, and it doesn’t take an act of Congress to get regulations changed or erased.

“So far, we have written 14 letters to heads of agencies, pointing out very specific regulations that we’ve heard about at our roundtables,” Theroux says. “While it’s not always eliminating the regulation entirely, sometimes it involves giving small businesses more time to comply than some of their larger competitors.”

Roundtable talks with the SBA are planned tomorrow in Council Bluffs, Wednesday in West Des Moines and Thursday in Dubuque. To register for an event, visit: and if you can’t attend, offer input at: