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Owens looks to remove regulations, help small businesses

North Country Congressman Bill Owens announced late last week a new initiative aimed at removing onerous regulations that impede small business growth.

The Democrat from New York's 23rd Congressional District is asking small business owners to help him identify existing and proposed federal regulations that "impede economic development and job creation."

In order to collect feedback from entrepreneurs in northern New York, Owens and his staff launched a new page through his website.

Owens wants small businesses to get in touch with him and "share information on their interactions with the federal government."

"I have had the opportunity to hear about many of these issues through meetings with constituents, and I hope to cast a wider net with this request for feedback," he said, noting that through this new webpage he wants to learn about regulations that are unnecessary, cost money and waste time.

The new addition to the Congressman's website will feature space for small business owners to provide descriptions of regulations they feel are onerous.

Owens also wants information on the estimated time and cost required to comply with such regulations. He adds that he wants to hear about proposed solutions, as well.

In February, the House voted overwhelmingly for legislation targeting the removal of burdensome regulations - the measure also called for the analysis of existing federal rules to better understand their impact on small business owners.

Owens points to recent noise-abatement regulations proposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as one example of the federal government attempting to enact unnecessary and costly rules at manufacturing facilities.

According to Owens, OSHA proposed additional regulations "relating to small business noise standards" which would have required manufacturers to spend money on engineering studies and solutions.

In December, Owens partnered with officials from IntraPac - a Plattsburgh-based manufacturer of packaging solutions - to call on OSHA to abandon its plans to enact the costly regulation.

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