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SBA Advocates For Rural Business With Gov’t Regs

Right, Christine Myers, Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy Region II advocate, during a roundtable discussion with small business owners at the Small Business Development Center at Jamestown Community College Wednesday. Myers and Joe Knilans, Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy rural advocate, discussed how they can help small businesses with federal regulations during the discussion. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

About 16 people attended a roundtable discussion on how Small Business Administration Office officials can help rural businesses with government regulations.

On Wednesday, the Small Business Development Center at Jamestown Community College hosted Christine Myers, Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy Region II advocate, and Joe Knilans, Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy rural advocate, who led the roundtable discussion that was attended by local business owners, chamber of commerce officials and elected representatives.

Bill Uhl of Servpro of Jamestown/Olean said he attended the forum because when he is handling his day-to-day business operations it’s difficult to stay educated about new legislation and regulations.

“I’m here to learn more about federal regulations on rural businesses,” he said. “I’ve come to learn what is going on out there.”

Myers said her responsibility as an advocate for small businesses is important because larger corporations can afford to pay someone to lobby for their needs while smaller companies cannot.

“We’re trying to meet as many businesses to see how regulations impact their business” she said.

Knilans said Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy is an independent voice for the small business community inside the federal government that works to ensure rules and regulations do not unfairly burden small entities employing 500 or fewer workers. The forums hosted by the Office of Advocacy are part of their ongoing efforts to support and engage with entrepreneurs and small business owners. They allow small businesses to share and voice their opinions and concerns on federal regulations.

“Common sense reform is what we are into,” he said.

Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello, who used to own a business that was a supplier in the hospitality industry and still owns a tourism business with his wife, Kelly, in Sunset Bay, said he felt Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations were too strict. He told a story of how he was penalized once without the opportunity to rectify what was done wrong.

Mark Odell, Chautauqua County legislator and Econoburn vice president of sales and marketing, talked about how once his business almost didn’t meet a certification deadline because of a strict EPA regulation. He said again his company is trying to meet EPA national regulations as far as emissions that are being proposed to become law in 2020, but feels the federal government should push back the stricter rules to 2023.

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