Small businesses are heroic and iconic figures in the American story of opportunity. The vast majority of private enterprises in the U.S. today employ fewer than 100 workers, and many workers aspire to own their own business. So when small businesses argued that the federal rulemaking process should pay attention to their special needs, policymakers listened.
By law, three federal agencies – the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – are required to convene a small business review panel any time they plan to issue a rule that could have a significant economic impact on small businesses.
Who participates in the review panel process? Are these panels representing and protecting the interests of small businesses in federal rulemaking? Does this process allow for the creation of needed public protections while mitigating any impacts on small businesses?
To answer these questions, staff at the Center for Effective Government examined 20 Small Business Advocacy Review panels convened between 1998 and 2012.