JEFFERSON CITY — A new state audit will investigate Missouri’s Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board, which describes itself as operating at a “sub-par level.” With many Missouri companies continuing to struggle under unfair regulations, it’s time for the state to finally stand up for small business and re-energize this critical board.
In announcing the audit, Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway noted “dysfunction” on the board and said the board’s current state was “unacceptable” and a “disservice” to Missouri’s business community. When it was created, the Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board was intended to act as a voice for small businesses in Missouri, ensuring small business interests are considered when state officials craft rules and regulations.
However, the board is currently hampered by a lack of new appointments to fill previous members’ expired terms. The inaction on the board comes as only 16 percent of Missouri business leaders say they are satisfied with how the state regulates businesses, according to a recent statewide Gallup survey of business leaders as part of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Missouri 2030 strategic plan.
“For too long, Missouri bureaucrats have ignored the interests of small businesses and have continually enacted harmful regulations that make it difficult these job creators to even keep the doors open,” said Daniel P. Mehan, President and CEO of the Missouri Chamber. “The Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board is a powerful tool that can help solve this problem and make sure our state is respecting our most important source of new job creation. We welcome the state auditor’s work to investigate the board’s current state and we hope this action spurs new activity to protect our vital small businesses.”
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the largest business association in Missouri. Together, with the Missouri Chamber Federation, the Missouri Chamber represents more than 50,000 employers.