Small businesses are the heart of our economy.
Why are startups slowing down?

Small businesses drive U.S. economic growth, but less and less Americans are deciding to open new businesses. The reason might surprise you. Research suggests that as the number of federal regulatory restrictions continues to climb, the corresponding number of startups drops dramatically. 

For a new business owner, it’s confusing and costly to navigate the maze of permitting paperwork, inspection standards, and other dense government requirements. While mature businesses have the experience and resources to figure out compliance, the small business owner ends up bearing a disproportionate cost of state and federal regulatory requirements:

  • Small businesses pay an average $11,700 per employee per year in regulatory costs.
  • Regulatory costs are nearly 20% higher to businesses with 50 employees or less than they are for the average sized firm.

Considering the cost of regulations and other economic uncertainties, fewer Americans are willing to take the risk of opening a new business. A decline in new businesses may hurt U.S. economic performance over time, and policymakers are eager to avoid this by simplifying regulations for business owners. However, with thousands of rules at every level of government, administrators need a way to easily sort between rules that help and hurt business growth.

Argive designs custom tools to collect business owner feedback on regulations. Our grassroots data provides actionable insight on the real impacts of regulation to small business owners. 

Background

Regulations are specific rules and instructions created with the intention of protecting our health, safety, and environment. They touch almost every part of our lives, governing the ingredients in our toothpaste to the places we park our cars.

Since our country's founding, the scope of federal regulations has expanded from a few humble rules to 175,000 densely-packed pages of eye-watering legalese. If you were to read the entire Code of Federal Regulations, it would take three years of full-time work - and that’s before you tackled state and local regulations!

The CFR has grown to contain many overlapping, conflicting, and just plain confusing rules. Even more concerning, the vast majority of rules are never evaluated for effectiveness. This is partially due to critical gaps in data collection. When policymakers issue new regulations, they rarely include specific ways to measure their effectiveness. The lack of data makes it impossible to determine whether or not rules are achieving their intended goals. 

As the number and complexity of regulations continues to rise, small business owners have little recourse for communicating the impact of these rules. Outdated government websites and mechanisms for public comment are not designed to collect and organize feedback for easy review. Broken lines of communication and poor data on regulatory costs make regulatory reform a daunting and difficult task. 

REBOOTING THE RULEBOOK

Argive's mission is to improve the communication loop between government and business owners. We build tools to collect grassroots data on the impact of regulations on the private sector. Our data is published in a publicly available and easy-to-search database designed to power transparent and efficient regulatory policymaking. 

If you have input on regulations impacting your life or business, we’d love to hear from you. Submit your feedback on a rule or get in touch at team@argive.org.

For parties interested in working with Argive to collect regulatory feedback, please click here.