Small Business Administration
Regulatory Fairness Board Annual Board Meeting 2017

I just finished three days of providing testimony and participating in the national Small Business Administrations (SBA) Regulatory Fairness Board meeting.  We had 22 Board members from across the US attend and represent their states and regions.  I represented Hawaii and served as Chair of Region IX, which includes Hawaii, California, Arizona, Nevada, Guam and American Samoa.  

I coordinated the testimony provided by Keli’s Akina, CEO of the Grassroots Institute and OHA Trustee on the negative impact the Jones Act has on businesses nationwide.  I also provide testimony on behalf of the four Liquor Commissions in Hawaii (Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island) I regards to the challenges they and the states licensees were experiencing with the IRS tax clearance process.  The IRS was very responsive and the issue has been resolved (in less than 4 weeks).  We’ll have to wait and see what can be done about the Jones Act.  

During the Board meeting I had the opportunity to hear reports and speak directly with senior administrative officials of the SBA, ONO, DOL, CMS, OSHA and the IRS.  Below are some of the highlights:

  1. Over 300 rules and regulations negatively impacting small businesses have been identified for elimination.
  2. For every new regulation proposed two need to be identified for removal.
  3. The President’s Cabinet is currently focused on Tax Reform, Healthcare Costs and Infrastructure. All of which will be approached with helping small businesses.
  4. I have been asked to lead the efforts to explore collaboration opportunities with the AICPA (American Institute of CPA’s) and State CPA Societies to support small businesses nationwide. Contact has been made, the AICPA is very recitative and collaboration looks promising.
  5. Outreach to the small business community in Hawaii and throughout the US is being encouraged and will include the local SBA offices, Chamber of Commerces, Trade and Professional Groups and other interesed stakeholders. The SBA is aggressively looking for any rule or regulation that has a negative impact on small business.   Email me at for more information on how to offer a comment on a bad regulation and potentially get it fixed.
  6. Loans and assistance to Veterans have been lagging in some Regions. Renewed focus on supporting and assisting Veterans to start and be successful with their own businesses has been requested by the SBA Administrator.  

Overall, it was a very successful Board meeting and I am very encouraged that the President’s Administration will be working hard to address small business issues and assist these businesses to grow and thrive. 

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