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Sargeant Confirmed as Chief Counsel for SBA Advocacy

Mark Marich

After serving as the Chief Counsel for Advocacy at the U.S. Small Business Administration for more than a year, Winslow Sargeant was finally confirmed by the Senate on Friday, November 18. Tom Sullivan, who served as Chief Counsel for Advocacy from 2002- 2008, applauds the confirmation in a recent blog post (reposted with permission):

On Friday (November 18), while the rest of Washington was focused on the work of the super committee, the Senate voted to confirm Dr. Winslow Sargeant as Chief Counsel for Advocacy at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). His job is to advocate for small business, even when the beliefs of the small business community are at odds with the White House.

Winslow Sargeant’s confirmation could not have come at a better time. Small business concerns with regulation are at an all time high and federal agencies are getting ready to ramp up their rule writing over the next twelve months as they do during every presidential election year. Dr. Sargeant has been acting as Chief Counsel since August 2010 and would be packing his bags if the Senate failed to act on his nomination. Over the past two years he has signed more than 50 public comment letters holding federal agencies accountable for their impact on small business. The letters, sent to EPA, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Department of Education, the Department of Labor, and other agencies, amplify the concerns of small businesses that are struggling to keep up with rules and regulations flowing out of Washington.

Small business needs Dr. Winslow Sargeant on the job because federal mandates disproportionately burden small firms. Research by Nicole Crain and W. Mark Crain, documents the shocking reality of our regulatory system. The total cost of complying with federal regulations is over $1.75 trillion. With small business shouldering costs 36% more than their larger business competitors, the burden amounts to $15,586 per household. That is more than the one-and-a-half times what households pay for medical treatments. Most alarming, is the fact that in the four years studied, the cost of complying with federal regulations rose faster than the per-household cost of medical care. If you have any doubt about how small businesses are impacted by regulations, listen to the 1,000 small businesses that are part of the Small Business for Sensible Regulations campaign.

The call for agencies to lighten the burden of federal mandates on small business is the consistent plea from SBA’s Office of Advocacy. That message became even more powerful on Friday when the Senate confirmed Dr. Winslow Sargeant.

Tom Sullivan is an attorney with the law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough where he runs the Small Business Coalition for Regulatory Relief. He served as Chief Counsel for Advocacy from 2002-2008.

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