BLACKMAN TWP., MI – Congressman Tim Walberg’s excitement for what small business can do was renewed when he visited SeaLandAire Technologies, a Blackman Township company that designs and creates innovative sensor and surveillance systems.
“In here, you have a very creative environment,” Walberg said about SeaLandAire, 1510 Springport Road. “The amazing things they are doing in Jackson, Michigan … it’s not in Silicon Valley.”
However, he said he also saw a company that, like many small businesses across the country, is being bogged down by ever-changing federal regulations and mounds of paperwork. He said that gets in the way of free enterprise and hurts business.
“We need some regulations, but we’ve gone way overboard,” Walberg said. “We pile regulations upon regulations. We need a playing field that is level.”
Walberg visited SeaLandAire on Wednesday, Aug. 7, as part of the National Federation of Independent Business’ “Small Business Challenge.” The program gives legislators a chance to spend “a day in the life” of small-business owners and see the challenges they face with running their businesses in today’s economy.
Walberg spent time with David Sparks, president of SeaLandAire, who showed him his and his staff’s daily operational and production tasks. The program also gives members of the federation a chance to voice their opinions about public policies that impact their business.
Wednesday’s visit was the first in a national campaign that will continue through the 2013-14 legislative session.
Sparks said there are so many processes that his company has to go through with the Department of Defense’s Defense Contract Audit Agency, and it slows down the time that his company could be using to innovate and create products that are of value to taxpayers.
He said innovation is being watered down by regulations and that he would just like to have a clear definition of what to do when it comes to the paperwork.
“We have some really good staff here that do really good work,” Sparks said. “I’ve tried my hardest to shield them from the red tape. I feel like we’re getting less and less nimble.”
The NFIB supports H.R. 2542, legislation that the federation says would reform the regulatory process to ensure that all federal agencies appropriately consider the impact of their rules on small businesses across the country.
Charlie Owens, the NFIB’s Michigan State director, lauded Walberg for participating in the challenge and working to implement reforms to help improve the economy and small-business climate.
Owens said although Michigan is moving in the right direction when it comes to regulations, “our businesses are drowning in federal regulations and it is hindering their ability to grow and create jobs for Michigan families.”
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Jackson Cit Pat: Congressman Tim Walberg spends ‘day in the life’ of Blackman Township firm as part of national ‘Small Business Challenge’
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