Culver Business Finance

News

On March 30, 2010, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy (Advocacy) submitted comments to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on OSHA’s Proposed Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements Rule (MSD Reporting Rule). Advocacy recommended that OSHA reassess is cost assumptions and certification about the impact of the proposed rule on small business.

On March 26, 200, The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published a notice of proposed rulemaking that provides guidance to tax return preparers on furnishing an identifying number on tax returns and claims for refund of tax that they prepare. The proposed regulations also provide that tax return preparers must apply for and regularly renew their preparer identifying number as the IRS may prescribe. The IRS estimates that the proposed regulations will apply to 1.2 million tax returns preparers, and that a substantial number of these tax return preparers are employed at small tax return preparation firms or are self-employed. The IRS also anticipates that the economic impact of this proposed rule will be significant. Comments are due by April 26, 2010.

The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) updating multiple standards that would make telecommunications more accessible for individuals with disabilities. This rulemaking will likely impact: 1) small contractors and subcontractors that develop covered technologies under a federal contract; 2) small manufacturers of telecommunications products; and 3) small entities that manufacture and utilize self-service machines. The Access Board is interested in receiving comments on the numbers of small entities impacted by this rulemaking, the potential compliance cost to these small entities and any significant alternatives that can minimize the economic impact of this rulemaking on small entities while accomplishing the Board’s objectives. The Access Board has drafted three questions on the impact of this rule on small entities in the ANPRM (Questions 31-33). Comments should be submitted by June 21, 2010.

Two New Studies Look at Small Firm Retirement Plans

On March 25, 2010, posted in: SBA by admin | Comments Off

Workers in small firms with fewer than 100 employees are much less likely than larger businesses to have a retirement plan available to them, according to a study released by the Office of Advocacy. A related working paper analyzes the retirement savings behavior of business owners, and finds that retirement account ownership, contribution, and participation rates for all business owners are low; this is especially true of micro-business owners. Both studies use nationally representative data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation.

A working paper analyzes the retirement savings behavior of business owners, and finds that retirement account ownership, contribution, and participation rates for all business owners are low; this is especially true of micro-business owners.

Workers in small firms with fewer than 100 employees are much less likely than larger businesses to have a retirement plan available to them, according to a study released by the Office of Advocacy.

On February 18, 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a proposed rule to clarify the reasonable factor other than age (RFAO) defense under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The ADEA applies to employers with more than 20 employees. The rule defines the scope of the RFAO defense under the EEOC’s proposed regulations concerning disparate impact under the ADEA, which were published on March 31, 2008. The rule defines a “reasonable factor” as one that is “objectively reasonable when viewed from the position of a reasonable employer” (a prudent employer mindful of its responsibilities under the ADEA). Factors relevant to determining whether an employment practice is reasonable include: 1) whether it is a common business practice or related to a business goal; 2) whether the employer applied the factor fairly and accurately; 3) whether the employer assessed the adverse impact and the severity of the harm on older workers; and 4) whether other options were available. Comments on this rule are due on April 19, 2010.

Economic Research Opportunities

On March 23, 2010, posted in: SBA by admin | Comments Off

The Office of Advocacy has posted two small business economic research contracting opportunities.

On March 15, 2010, the Office of Advocacy (Advocacy) filed comments with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) providing the agency with various health care providers’ concerns with the electronic health record (EHR) proposed rule.

On March 12, 2010, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy (Advocacy) submitted comments to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) on PHMS’s Proposed Hazardous Materials: Transportation of Lithium Batteries Rule. Advocacy recommended that PHMSA assess public comments and consider alternatives that would minimize the impact of the proposed rule on small business.