120 hours of paperwork and $8,000 in fees
120 hours of paperwork and $8,000 in fees
"It's kind of shocking," what regulations can do to a small business, said Shayne Newman, owner of YardApes, a landscaping company.
Shayne Newman

Owner of YardApes, Inc. in New Milford, Conn.

I'm a landscaper and I started mowing lawns when I was in college. One day, my father asked me what I was going to do for a summer job.

And I said, maybe I want to mow some lawns. Six weeks later he told me that he had taken out a loan to buy a truck and a loan mower. He said, you had better go get some lawns to mow, so you can pay back that loan.

Many of our employees are foreigners. A new rule is going to make it harder for me to hire them. The H2B program is a seasonal work visa program that allows foreign employees to work in the United States for nine months. It is essential for a landscaping company like mine.

The Department of Labor said that we have to increase the H2B wage by more than 50%. That along with payroll taxes means it will probably cost us $290,000. Actually, the cost will be closer to $310,000 since we can't just give raises to our H2B employees. We will have to do it for our other staff members.

This is completely undoable. I can't -- in this economy -- pass that increase to my clients. I can't absorb it either. The next option is to abandon H2B.

Even without the new rule, complying with the H2B program is no walk in the park. We have to start filing paperwork now to get employees here by April 1. And the process is complicated, time-consuming and expensive. We've spent about 120 hours and $8,000 in fees a year on it.

It is really amazing when you hear that the government is supposed to be helping small business. But then there's this application process and new rule. This is not helping; it is killing us.

Last updated September 22 2011: 3:40 PM ET
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