Ease up on government regulations, survey says

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Small business owners and managers say government red tape keeps them from creating new jobs.

A national survey finds that 69 percent of small business owners and managers believe complicated government regulations are “major impediments to the creation of new jobs.”

Of those surveyed, 68 percent said that more businesses are investing in new technology rather than new employees to avoid complications created by federal employment laws, mandates and regulations.

The survey was conducted by Clarus Research Group and included 500 small business owners and managers.

Small businesses employ half of the nation’s private-sector workforce and account for more than 99 percent of employers. When it comes to implementing regulations, 86 percent of those surveyed said that regulations would be more effective in protecting public health and safety if they gave business clear goals and more freedom in making daily decisions.

In addition, 89 percent said that most government bureaucrats make decisions based solely on regulations.

The top two obstacles to business growth and job creation, according to those surveyed, are burdensome government regulations (27 percent) and a legal system that encourages too many lawsuits (23 percent). These were followed by difficulty obtaining financing (20 percent), high taxes on business (18 percent), availability of a qualified workforce (9 percent) and the rising cost of energy (7 percent).

“To stimulate new jobs, America’s political leaders should radically simplify the bureaucratic tangle,” said Philip K. Howard, Founder and Chair of Common Good, a nonpartisan government reform coalition that commissioned the survey. “This presidential race is the ideal time to build a consensus around that concept.”