Business group jumps to defense of disparaged SBA office

“The reports focus on minor, isolated episodes that do not accurately reflect the decades of important work the Office of Advocacy has contributed throughout its history,” said Susan Eckerly, NFIB’s senior vice president for public policy. “The reports also fail to mention the billions of dollars in regulatory costs the office has saved small businesses in its existence.”

The Office of Advocacy has declined to comment on the reports, which call for a federal investigation and greater oversight there. The agency was created in 1976 and contains only a few dozen employees. But the groups say it has come to have outsize influence, which has been used to block regulations sought by other federal agencies.

Eckerly disputed the notion that the office has lost sight of its mission.

“In our many years of working with the Office of Advocacy, we have found them to take great pains to ensure they are representing the views of small businesses that otherwise would have no voice in the rule-making process,” she said.