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Published January 11, 2012, 08:28 PM

Rep. Berg in Grand Forks to Discuss Regulations With Business Owners

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Congressman Rick Berg asked local business owners on Wednesday to tell him what kinds of things hold them back.

By: Stacie Van Dyke, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Congressman Rick Berg asked local business owners on Wednesday to tell him what kinds of things hold them back.

Berg met with members of the Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce mainly to discuss regulatory issues on their small businesses.

"We need to create an environment that encourages business growth, and so much of the regulation that is coming out of Washington actually do the opposite. They're barriers to developing more energy, they're barriers to growing a business, and that has to change," Berg said.

The roundtable meeting stems from Berg's R.E.G.S. agenda launched last month, aimed at reducing over-regulation of small businesses.

"I want to hear what businesses need and what they're looking for, regulation just seems to be a top priority really," Berg said.

"Berg really understands business issues and has been very supportive of the business issues in the Grand Forks area," Chamber of Commerce president Barry Wilfahrt

The main barrier business owners voiced is what Berg describes a "cloud of uncertainty" over what regulations Congress will impose next.

"Businesses make an investment, and then it takes five years, ten years to recoup that investment. So when the rules and regulations change every other year, it creates that uncertainty and that makes business owners be more cautious and they're less likely to re-invest in the economy. Their investment is what creates jobs, creates new buildings, that type of thing, that is good for the growth of our area," Wilfahrt said.

"The other thing I heard today was the regulatory environment and how that's impacting businesses, whether it's homebuilders or banking or healthcare and we really need common sense legislation," Berg said.

Despite these concerns, Berg says his main agenda is getting the federal economy to mirror that of North Dakota.

"Things are good in North Dakota, and they're going to get better. North Dakota's in a great position to take advantage of our economic strength," Berg said.

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