NFIB’s Main Street Menace of the Week: Senate Bill 969

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While the legislature is in session, the National Federation of Independent Business/California will be profiling anti-small business bills and initiatives and the adverse effect they would have on California’s job creators.  This is the second column of the 2012 series.

By John Kabateck

NFIB/CA Executive Director

Welcome to California, the land of fruits, nuts and over-regulation.  In this state, we regulate everything from water and air quality to veterinarians and doctors.  Now, we aren’t saying all regulations are bad, but what we are saying is that some thought needs to be given to the long-term consequences of any regulations that are imposed.

Take, for example, a recent bill that was introduced in the Senate that would regulate and license pet groomers in California.  Senate Bill 969 (Vargas) would mandate any entrepreneur considering opening a pet grooming to pass a state test, and require groomers to pay up to $350 to be licensed by the Veterinary Medical Board.  The legislation would also regulate everything from lighting in facilities to how they maintain records.

Proponents claim that the industry needs to be regulated because of a few out-of-the-ordinary incidents that have occurred.  While even one incident is too many, is it really necessary to regulate the entire industry?  The reality is that this bill has the potential to regulate small business owners who provide these services right out of business due to the cost of compliance, training, and other associated expenses.  And those expenses will likely be passed on to the customer who brings their pet in for regular grooming.

Unlike larger businesses with more abundant resources, your average small business owner wears all or most hats in the workplace – accountant, human resources officer, and main employee of the business. Piling on extra compliance burdens means that they won’t be able to focus on growing their business.

So maybe it’s time for the folks in the Capitol to take a step back and let the marketplace weed out the bad businesses.  Small business owners largely rely on word-of-mouth advertising and recommendations in order to get and keep business.  They know that – unlike government – if they don’t provide good customer service, their business will suffer.  That is why it is in their best interest to make sure that they provide good service for a fair price and take care of their customers.

And as they grow their businesses they can hire more employees and support their communities as well.  And that is a win-win for everyone.

Our politicians need to stop hamstringing our entrepreneurs with the short, strangling leash of Nanny Government, and instead give them the support and encouragement to do what they do best: create jobs and feed the economy.