Need to Contact the Government About Small Business Issues?
by Caron_Beesley, Community Moderator
- Created: March 12, 2009, 8:22 am
While browsing the message boards on this community, I stumbled on a seemingly simple question posed in the forum by a small business owner - 'how do I contact the government?'
so many agencies, regulatory bodies, and elected officials across
federal and state and local government, knowing where to start can be
time consuming and frustrating. Just try Googling 'how do I contact the
government?' and you’ll get an idea of what I am talking about.
are many reasons why small or microbusiness owners would need to
contact the government. Aside from lobbying your congressman on local
legislative matters, small business owners often have very specific
questions about business operational issues such regulatory compliance
and tax laws.
To help better serve small businesses in their
quest for answers, below is a breakdown of government points of contact
- specifically established to service small business needs.
Contacting the Government about General Small Business Issues
counseling to training to business development advice, the government
offers many ways for small business owners to get direct advice and
support on general business matters. The Small Business Administration,
in your state.
resources include SCORE, Small Business Development Centers, and Women-
and Minority-Owned Business Centers. Get links to all these resources here.
you can reach out to other small business owners and industry experts
via the Web by posting a question on one of Business.gov’s Community Message Boards.
Business.gov is the U.S. Government's official website for small
businesses and the community is a great way to get a fast response to
general business issues.
Contacting the Government about Regulatory Compliance
you need help about more specific legal or regulatory issues that
impact your business, you can contact the federal government and your
state government directly.
1) Contacting the Federal Government - The good news for the small business owner is that the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002
(SBPRA) requires that each federal agency establishes a point of
contact to act as a liaison between the agency and small business
concerns. In addition, the SBPRA requires that a list of compliance
assistance resources for small businesses be published on the Internet.
Access the list of federal compliance contacts here.
More than just a list of contacts, you can also find resources by
agency on topics ranging from DOE grant application procedures to I-9 employment eligibility verification from the Department of Homeland Security.
2) Contacting Your State Government - Here is a list of contacts and resources to help you stay compliant with regulations across all 50 states.
Filing a Complaint about Unfair Regulatory Enforcement
the government regulating your small business unfairly? Need to file a
complaint about repetitive audits or investigations, excessive fines,
penalties, threats, retaliation or other unfair enforcement action by a
Small business owners who feel they have been
subject to unfair or excessive regulatory enforcement by a government
agency can turn to an Ombudsman for help. An Ombudsman is an impartial
government official charged with representing the interests of the
public by addressing complaints reported by citizens, including
Most Ombudsman staff reside within a specific
federal agency or state government level that handles complaints
against any regulatory agency within its jurisdiction.
Contacting an Elected Official
you need to contact an elected federal, state or local official about
small business issues or proposed legislation in your community, follow
- U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
- U.S. House Small Business Committee
- Contact Your U.S. Representative
- Contact Your U.S. Senator
- The White House
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