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What keeps small retailers up at night …


Seven in 10 small retailers report feeling ‘overwhelmed’ by government regulations, rules and mandates.

That’s one of the key findings of a new survey by the National Retail Federation, which worked with market research firm GfK to survey retail small business owners to gauge their views on the business environment.

“Overregulation is undermining the resolve of small retailers,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.

The survey revealed that while small retailers are generally optimistic about the future, they are increasingly concerned about the growing volume and cost of government regulations.

Among the findings:

• The vast majority (81%) say regulations weaken the appeal of owning a business.

• Nearly seven-in-ten (60%) say they are “overwhelmed by regulations, rules, and mandates,” including labor regulations, health care mandates, tax codes and safety guidelines.

• Less than half (44%) believe government regulations achieve their objectives.
• Seventy-nine percent of small retailers support efforts to lower federal tax rates by eliminating tax loopholes, and 73% of small retailers are concerned by the complexity of the federal tax code.

Nearly 60% believe proposed regulations to fine companies that allow flexible employee schedules due to changing worker demands or business needs would hurt their businesses. Overtime expansion proposed by the Labor Department would likely result in negative consequences for nearly half (44%) of small business owners, according to the survey.

And 37% of small retailers say raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour would either cause their business to fail or threaten its existence.
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