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Want to serve on our Regional Regulatory Fairness Boards?
The Office of the National Ombudsman has a request for assistance in identifying small business owners to serve on our Regional Regulatory Fairness Boards.
Congress established the Office of the National Ombudsman (ONO) and ten Regional Regulatory Fairness Boards in 1996 as part of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, 15. U.S.C. § 657. Under the Act, Regulatory Fairness Boards are charged with reporting to ONO substantiated instances of excessive enforcement actions by federal regulators against small businesses. As such, the Boards are important to identifying and addressing small business concerns relating to regulatory enforcement by federal agencies.
The Office of the National Ombudsman is committed to providing a responsive, impartial process for small businesses to voice concerns about enforcement of federal regulations, especially those that create barriers to small business longevity and growth. The members of each Regulatory Fairness Board are vital to this process, and to the work of this Office assisting small businesses confronting regulatory challenges, such as repetitive audits or excessive fines.
Each of the ten Regional Boards consists of five members, owners, operators, or officers of small business concerns, who represent the small business community. Members serve without compensation for terms of three years. No board member may be an officer or employee of the Federal Government.
In addition, the Regional Regulatory Fairness Board members interact with the National Ombudsman and with other board members through quarterly meetings and at small business regulatory fairness hearings and roundtables hosted by ONO throughout the county.
This office welcomes your recommendations and look forward to working with you on behalf of America’s small businesses. Please contact Brian Castro (National Ombudsman) at 202-205-7360 or Nils Friedmann at 202-205-7549, should you have any questions.
Reservists Eligible to Apply for SBA Working Capital Loans
WASHINGTON— Small businesses that suffered economic losses when the owner or a key employee was called up to active duty are eligible to apply for a low interest loan of up to $2 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Small businesses can apply for a Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL) any time from the date of notice of expected call-up and ending one year after the date of discharge or release. The program was created to enable eligible small businesses to pay operating expenses it could have covered if the owner or key employee hadn’t been called to active duty.
“The absence of just one employee whose expertise is critical to the success of the company can pose significant challenges for a small business,” said SBA Acting Administrator Jeanne Hulit.
“These Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loans provide funds that will help these small businesses cover operating expenses. This way our brave men and women in uniform don’t have to choose between serving their country and growing their businesses.”
The MREIDL is a direct working capital loan, managed by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. The interest rate on these working capital loans is 4 percent, with terms up to a maximum of 30 years. In general, no collateral is required to secure an MREIDL of $50,000 or less. The loan cannot be used to replace lost income or profits, refinance long-term debt or to expand the business.
Businesses can apply online at http://go.usa.gov/BcuA. To get an application by mail, or for other questions about the loan program, contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or by email at email@example.com.
In addition to the MREIDL program, the SBA supports veterans starting and growing their businesses through its 68 local SBA district offices, 15 Veterans Business Outreach Centers nationwide, its partnership with 63 Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) with over 900 outreach locations, and 12,000 SCORE volunteers.
Each year SBA helps more than 200,000 veterans, service-disabled veterans and reservists. To learn more about additional opportunities for veterans available through the SBA, please visit the website at www.sba.gov/veterans.