By Gary Rabine
Starting my own company as an 18-year old with just a couple thousand dollars in my pocket seemed at the time to be the toughest part of becoming a small business owner. Yet through the years, I have realized that it may have actually been the easiest part. It certainly was not as frustrating as being a small business owner in today's tough economic times, where I am regularly faced with more and more government regulations that hinder growth in my industry.
The worst of these regulations seem to be done in the name of environmentalism.
President Obama recently defended the Environmental Protection Agency, arguing that it is vital, and that EPA regulation and economic growth shouldn't be "contradictory goals." But the truth is that bringing the two together harmoniously to please Washington has caused heartache for American companies like mine, who have to constantly keep up with these regulations that sometimes can't even be explained by local EPA officials themselves.
Through my experience I have encountered specific regulations that prevent and take away jobs and business in my industry. For example, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) implements a costly regulation on the testing of soil from an IEPA-deemed "clean" construction site. The rule is that the soil must be tested as it is being carted off for any chemicals, and then tested again wherever it is deposited -- the same soil that had already been judged "clean" by the IEPA. These environmental tests must be performed three times, which can cost upwards of $800 per load to satisfy this particular regulation.
This has proven to be senseless and expensive. Of course there are certain regulations that are good and proper, but others are causing companies to waste time and monetary funds.
Job creation always needs to be the focus of the government and businesses, but now the urgency is particularly critical. The health of our country will be the result of how well we create jobs and support business -- not how much we regulate.
Rabine started Rabine Paving at 18 and is now the Founder and CEO of the Rabine Group, a roup of small companies serving facilities managers across America, and delivering maintenance and construction services of parking lots and roofs.