Several internal problems have been found of the Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board. The board was created to serve as an advocate for Missouri’s small businesses. State Auditor Nicole Galloway’s office audited the entity and says the board has some serious internal problems.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway

State Auditor Nicole Galloway

“The board is supposed to gather input from small businesses on how proposed regulations could impact them, then provide that necessary information to state agencies, issue regular evaluation reports to provide an overall view of Missouri’s regulatory process and how it’s affecting small businesses. The board is not doing any of that,” said Galloway.

Missouri has about 170,000 small businesses and more than half of working Missourians are employed by small businesses.

In January, the board issued an annual report for the first time in seven years, describing its own operations as being “sub-par”.

Galloway says the board has been plagued with issues that have undermined its effectiveness.

“Things broke down. Obviously there’s board vacancies and then they didn’t receive the administrative support from the Department of Economic Development to fulfill their mission,” said Galloway. “My team has made a series of recommendations, and I’m calling on the legislature and the Department of Economic Development to take action to ensure business owners can weigh in on policies that affect them.”

The board has nine spots, but there are only five members. The board says it has requested to have those spots filled.  It’s the responsibility of the Governor and Missouri legislature to fill them.