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SBA National Ombudsman Meets with Small Businesses in Missouri and Pennsylvania To Discuss Regulatory Issues

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SBA National Ombudsman Meets with Small Businesses in Missouri and Pennsylvania To Discuss Regulatory Issues

By ngoriel, SBA Official
Published: May 27, 2014

NOTE: This blog is by Brian Castro, SBA National Ombudsman

In May, the Office of the National Ombudsman joined SBA’s District Offices in celebrating our nation’s small business owners through a series of outreach events in Regions III and VII. 

In addition to honoring the Small Business Week Winners for Eastern Missouri at a ceremony and awards dinner in St. Louis, Region VII Regulatory Fairness Board Member Cynthia Brown and National Ombudsman Brian Castro hosted a roundtable discussion on the campus of Webster University to hear directly from local small businesses.  Participants at the St. Louis forum included small business owners, local representatives of federal agency partners, and members of the academic community. 

The National Ombudsman also visited the Veterans Business Resource Center in St. Louis and toured the Riverside Innovation Center in Pittsburgh, where he learned about some of the exciting work these resource partners are doing and explored barriers they and their clients face due to federal regulations.

In Pittsburgh, more than 70 members of the small business community participated in a regulatory fairness roundtable hosted by Region III Regulatory Fairness Board Member Marilyn Landis, the Office of the National Ombudsman, and the SMC Business Councils of Pennsylvania.   Attendees identified a range of federal regulatory concerns impacting small businesses in the region, including:

  • Environmental regulations concerning water run-off
  • The GSA federal supply schedule
  • Proposed crowd funding regulations
  • IRS rules on independent contractors versus employees
  • New patent legislation
  • Dodd-Frank Act regulations relating to component parts containing “conflict minerals,” materials originating in a conflict region
  • Implementation of the Affordable Care Act
  • Government contracting with service-disabled, veteran owned small contractors

In partnership with other federal agencies, the ONO is assisting small business owners in obtaining expedited agency review of these regulatory compliance and enforcement matters. 

Our federal agency partners also provide critical support to our work on behalf of small business owners through local agency representatives who participate in our outreach events around the country. The following agencies participated in these events:

  • Department of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service
  • Department of Labor, Department of Wage & Hour
  • Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration
  • Internal Revenue Service, Self-Employed and Small Business Division
  • Internal Revenue Service, Taxpayer Advocate Service
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • National Labor Relations Board

Providing the opportunity for establishing personal connections between small business owners and their local federal agency representatives is another important part of the outreach we do. 

Regulations keep Americans safe and protect the public health, national security, and our environment.  At the same time, we are focused on cultivating an environment for small business that promotes growth, innovation, and job creation. 

That’s why the Office of the National Ombudsman works every day to support smart, effective, and innovative approaches to the regulation of small business and to assist small business owners facing regulatory enforcement actions and compliance issues. 

If we can assist your small business with a regulatory fairness issue, please visit, email us at, or call 888-REG-FAIR.

Congratulations to all of our Small Business Week Award Recipients! 

Note:  The SBA’s Office of the National Ombudsman exists to help small business owners as they seek to understand the requirements of federal regulations, comply with those mandates, resolve disputed matters with federal regulators, and ultimately thrive.  Ten Regional Regulatory Fairness Boards around the country work with the National Ombudsman to identify and address regulatory barriers for small businesses and to connect small business owners with SBA resources. 


About the Author:

Natale Goriel

SBA Official

Hi, my name is Natale and I'm serving as a Moderator for the SBA Community. Our goal is to continually improve this site to meet your needs, so we appreciate your feedback and participation.


Well this roundtable session are a great way to rejuvenate fresh & motivating ideas among business class, to act smartly from overall point of view.
I think it's very useful
Excellent article. [This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.]

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