Small businesses express concerns over federal regs

A majority of small retailers say they are overwhelmed by federal regulations, according to a new survey.

The National Retail Federation said Tuesday that 69 percent of respondents said that government regulations, including labor and healthcare mandates, are hampering their ability to hire workers and boost the nation's economic growth.

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"To fulfill their role in driving the American economy, small businesses need the freedom to make the decisions that make sense for them instead of being burdened by one-size-fits all mandates," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

Shay urged congressional lawmakers and presidential candidates to take a hard look at the nation's expanding regulatory framework. 

Overall, 76 percent of small-business owners reported that regulatory uncertainty makes growing their business more difficult.

A majority — 81 percent of respondents — say regulations weaken the appeal of owning a business.

Nearly 80 percent of small retailers support efforts to lower federal tax rates by eliminating tax loopholes, and 73 percent are concerned by the complexity of the tax code.

More than one-third (37 percent) of small retailers say raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour would either cause their business to fail or threaten its existence.

The survey was conducted online by GfK in December and January, among 752 retail small business owners.