Conferees tell CFPB to take it easy on Small Biz

Jun 25, 2010, 1:00pm

By Tom Sullivan, who runs the Small Business Coalition for Regulatory Relief at the law firm of Nelson Mullins in Washington, DC.

The financial regulatory reform bill emerged from conference this morning with a measure championed by Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Senator Mark Pryor (D-AK) that will require the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to wear kid gloves when regulating small business. Section 1099F will require CFPB to closely examine how their rules will impact the small businesses they regulate and how their rules will impact the cost of credit for small business. In an important victory for transparency-in-government advocates, the small business impact analysis must be part of CFPB’s proposed rules.

Section 1099 F was taken from the little-known Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA), passed in 1996. The Act, overseen by SBA’s Office of Advocacy, has applied to rulemakings at EPA and OSHA for over 14 years, but this is the first time the approach has been part of an agency’s mandate from day one.