U.S. Government New Website to Help Small Businesses

Together with twenty-one other federal agencies, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has recently launched a one-stop resource center that would provide businesses with all the information that they need. This partnership, known as Business gateway, is part of the Presidential e-government program that wants to make the most of technology by improving federal government services to citizens and businesses. Since each federal agency have different ways of managing their compliance information on their websites, the agencies have joined together to provide the Business.gov website as the central gateway for Government services and information to help businesses run their business. In the 2003 fiscal year, the Office of Management and Budget estimated it took businesses and citizens approximately 8.2 billion hours and $320 billion filling out paperwork and abiding by government regulation. The website makes it easier to find information on taxes, immigration laws, workplace safety, environmental requirements and other regulations that can be challenging.

An essential feature of the website is a unique vertical search engine, which is able to locate, organize and retrieve compliance assistance information that's published on Federal agency websites. Businesses may search for compliance assistance information across all Federal agencies, or they may search within a specific business area (e.g. International Trade), or within a specific industry (e.g. agriculture).

The reorganization of all compliance information on the web is a huge step forward in helping companies reduce their business expenses in areas of time savings and cost avoidance. Research has shown that businesses with less than 20 employees spend an average of $7,647, and expend 45% more per employee than larger firms to comply with federal regulation. SBA administrator Steven C. Preston says that the main purpose of the website is to make it easier for businesses to do business.

When the Business.gov website first started in 2004, the main purpose and focus of the website was on providing information on starting, growing and managing small businesses. The business community has played a key part in helping to develop and implement online tools to reduce the compliance burden. While helping to avoid costly mistakes for small firms, it also welcomes the launching of the new Business.gov website.

The website is an essential tool in that not only will it increase compliance and reduce the burdens faced by America's businesses, but it helps to make the regulatory process more understandable and accessible, said Andrew Langer, Manager of Regulatory Policy, National Federation of Independent Businesses.

Earnest Young is an accounting and tax writer for

Accent Accounting and Taxes


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