A survey of independents by the National Retail Federation (NRF) confirms what dealers and buying groups have been saying for years: Small businesses are being stymied by government regs.
According to the trade group’s poll, 69 percent of small retailers said they are “overwhelmed by regulations, rules, and mandates,” including labor regulations, health care mandates, tax codes and safety guidelines, and fully 81 percent believe regulations weaken the appeal of owning a business.
The concerns were expressed by independent retailers across the board, regardless of political ideology, gender, age or geography, NRF said.
“Overregulation is undermining the resolve of small retailers,” noted NRF president/CEO Matthew Shay. “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 entrepreneurial spirit,” he added.
Although small retailers are generally optimistic about the future, they are increasingly concerned about the growing volume and cost of government regulations, the survey showed. Among the other findings:
*37 percent said raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour would either cause their business to fail or threaten its existence;
*nearly 60 percent believe proposed regulations to fine companies that allow flexible employee schedules due to changing worker demands or business needs would hurt their businesses;
*73 percent are concerned by the complexity of the federal tax code; and
*only 44 percent believe government regulations achieve their objectives.
The survey was conducted online in December and January among 752 small retail owners. The full report is available here.