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The “Regulation Wizard”— Helping Small- and Micro- Businesses Produce Safe & Compliant Products

On June 18, the President hosts the first-ever White House Maker Faire. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Small Business Ombudsman will be there to announce a collaboration with Etsy.com and 18F to support “makers” and small businesses through CPSC’s development of a new “regulation wizard.” The online tool will provide consumer product safety requirements for inventors, makers and entrepreneurs bringing new products to market.

The “maker movement” links long-standing American traditions of tinkering, inventing and entrepreneurship with newer technologies, such as desktop laser cutters, new design software and additional desktop machine tools. These new tools are enabling more Americans to design and build almost anything, oftentimes more quickly and without the costly infrastructure previously required.
CPSC has recognized the increasing importance of these small- and micro- businesses—these makers— in creating new, innovative, fun and useful products. CPSC continues its efforts to “take safety to the source” by working with these businesses as they design, develop, and manufacture to make sure their products are safe and compliant with safety requirements.

The new wizard will catalog safety requirements, which can sometimes be hard to find and decipher, and present them in a form that will be accessible to all businesses. This will allow small- and micro- businesses to spend less time trying to find applicable safety regulations and more time trying to make sure their new product meets or exceeds those requirements.

CPSC, through its Small Business Ombudsman, is developing the “regulation wizard” utilizing open-source software tools, developed by the General Service Administration’s (GSA) innovative technology startup 18F. CPSC is populating the “regulation wizard” with data to create an application that will provide an easy-to-understand and cost-effective way for small businesses and makers to cut through red tape. Once built, CPSC will invite users of Etsy.com and other small- and micro- businesses to a collaborative “data jam” session to make sure this publicly available information from CPSC performs as promised and is designed in a way to best help these small businesses find and comply with all applicable safety regulations for their new consumer products.

The White House is using #NationOfMakers on Twitter for the June 18 event. For updates from the CPSC’s Small Business Ombudsman on this “regulation wizard” project and other important regulatory updates, follow him on Twitter @CPSCSmallBiz and sign up for email updates at www.cpsc.gov/email. If you are a maker or a small- or micro- business that is just beginning to learn CPSC requirements, navigate to www.cpsc.gov/BusinessEducation to learn more.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/06/the-regulation-wizard-helping-small-and-micro-businesses-produce-safe-compliant-products/