Written by Reg Baker, CPA

reg bakerI recently returned from my first National SBA Regulatory Fairness Board meeting in Washington DC.  What an exciting and eye opening experience!
The Board had about 25 Board members from across the United States in attendance.  These Board members were evenly split between non-profit small business support organizations and actual small business owners.  For lack of a better term they were activists for small business interests.  As expected, it was a very vocal group and the SBA Administrator and her staff was very supportive of hearing about the various suggestions to support small business success across the country.
During the 3 day Board meeting we heard testimony from various small business owners about their challenges and brainstormed various improvements to the small business environment in the US.  On day one, we heard testimony about federal contracting issues and laws that was causing harm to small business success.  There was discussion on how to address the issues and the changes that might be needed.  During the remaining two days of Board meetings, each district was asked to discuss their district issues and challenges and all Board members joined in to offer advice and recommendations on how to begin the process to address the challenges.  I represented District IX (Hawaii, California, Arizona, Nevada, Guam and America Samoa) and I presented the challenges of the Jones Act, the Affordable Care Act, Water Rights and Independent Contractor challenges.  I also encouraged the SBA to evaluate the support provided to what I felt was the underserved areas of Guam and America Samoa.
The Board formed Working Groups to address specific issues that had the potential to impact all Districts.  The working groups included Workforce Management / Labor, Government Contracting, Outreach & Visibility and Access to Capital.  Because of my back ground and experience I was asked to serve on both the Workforce Management / Labor (which includes healthcare and ACA) and the Outreach and Visibility working groups.  I was also asked to serve as Chairman of District IX.
I am excited about the opportunity to represent Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa and the other states of District IX in our nation’s capital.  This provides us a local voice in Washington, DC, that combined with our elected delegation, has the potential to be a powerful influence to improve the regulatory environment for our very important small business community.
Reg Baker, in addition to Chairing District IX of the SBA’s Regulatory Fairness Board is a CPA practicing in Hawaii, Chairs the Executive Committee of PKF Pacific Hawaii and was formerly the Executive Vice President, COO and CFO of HMAA. Baker also serves as Chairman of Junior Achievement of Hawaii, Chairman of the Small Business Committee of the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce and has served two terms as Chairman of the Hawaii Society of CPA’s.


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