Missouri Business Headlines

Resurrecting the Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board

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A government-appointed board tasked with protecting small business would get a second life under a bill under consideration in the Missouri House.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway recently announced she will investigate Missouri’s Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board. In announcing the audit, Galloway noted “dysfunction” on the board and said the board’s current state was “unacceptable” and a “disservice” to Missouri’s business community.

The board has described itself as operating at a “sub-par” level. The nine-member board includes three vacancies and four members serving on expired terms.

Not content to wait for the outcome of the audit, Rep. Caleb Rowden, a Republican from Columbia, is ready to move forward with changes intended to improve how the board operates.

“If we can do some things to make its functionality better, let’s certainly do that,” he said during a Jan. 26 hearing on his House Bill 2033.

Rep. Rowden’s bill would change how appointments are made to the Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board. It would also give the board the power to issue tax credits—up to $250 per employee but not more than $25,000 per company—to help small businesses that have been unfairly burdened by regulatory issues.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry supports the mission of the Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board and wants to see the board actively working in support of small businesses.

“This is supposed to be a regulatory watchdog for small businesses,” said Tracy King, vice president of governmental affairs. “We really do need to address this issue.”

Rep. Rowden said he is open to discussion about the best way to restore the board and help it move forward to serve small businesses.

“We should make it a point to resurrect this board and do it in a way that allows it to have the voice it was intended to have,” said Rep. Rowden.

For more information, contact King at tking@mochamber.com or by phone at 673.634.3511.

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