It isn't often that this page has something good to say about the Federal Government, but the Small Business Administration (SBA) has always held a place of esteem in as much it is one of the few federal agencies that works wholly for the people it purports to help, the small business owner. We would like to introduce you now to a website that will offer more help to small business than ever was available before, Business.gov.
Touted as the "official business link to the US Government," The site, which was originally launched in 2006, is managed by the US Small Business Administration in a partnership with 21 other federal agencies. This partnership, known as Business Gateway, is a Presidential E-government initiative that provides a single access point to government services and information to help the nation's businesses with their operations.
Helping with the Regulatory Burden
One major area that the Business.gov website seeks to address is the problem that small businesses have with regulatory compliance. A federal study, the Final Report pf the Small Business Paperwork Relief Task force, concluded that:
Reporting and record keeping requirements place a heavy and expensive burden on businesses, particularly small businesses. Compliance with these requirements is made more difficult by the number and complexity of regulations which impose direct burdens of compliance. Businesses are often subject to regulations enforced by multiple Federal agencies. The need to report information to several different government entities also increases compliance costs, particularly when reporting or record keeping requirements are not coordinated across agencies.
The report, which covered fiscal year 2003, demonstrated that businesses and citizens spent approximately 8.2 billion hours and $320 billion filling out paperwork and complying with government regulations. Users spent much of these 8.2 billion hours navigating complex government hierarchies and working their way through millions of documents that are actually meant to help businesses comply with laws and regulations.
Business.gov addresses this issue and seeks to save businesses the time and money spent on regulatory compliance by providing fast, easy to understand access to business laws, government regulations, forms and access to relevant agency contacts. This is accomplished through the following seven areas of the website:
Federal Small Business Guides
Business.gov Small Business Guides help business owners to understand the regulations they have to comply with and improve their operations. These guides, which are organized by Business Area and Industries, offer a one-stop resource for regulatory assistance, and include links to clearly written fact sheets, guidelines, answers to frequently asked questions, interactive tools, training resources, and contacts at Federal regulatory agencies.
State and Local Guides
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