JACKSON, Miss.- America was built on entrepreneurship, so what happens when federal and state regulations begin making small businesses nearly impossible to create?
That’s what many Americans are asking after extreme regulations have been set on how a business can open and operate.
When Gov. Phil Bryant first took office in the state he appointed Ron Aldridge to form a task force that would oversee regulations set on small businesses across the state. In 2012 it was approved by legislature and went completely into effect by 2016.
“We have looked at various regulations in Mississippi that have been exposed to us by small business folks, and have taken the lead in getting those handled for them,” said Rob Aldridge who now serves as the director of the National Federation of Independent Business in Mississippi.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) is there to help the “mom and pop” businesses, those that employ around 3-5 people.
He said one of the first ones worked on was a business of African Hair Braiders. Regulations were attempting to require them to have hundreds of hours of cosmetology experience and instructions, when all their business was doing was braiding hair. The task force provided a way for the business to continue without the regulations being applied.
Now, there are many more businesses just like the African Hair Braiders across the state generating income and continuing small business growth or Mississippi’s economy.
Another situation he shared was that of a cosmetologist who was required by law to come to Jackson and appear in court in order to petition for a duplicate of her cosmetology license. Under previous regulations that license could not be mailed or faxed, it must be petitioned for and picked up in person.
“Think of someone from Corinth having to come to Jackson for the day, shut down their business, just to get a copy of the cosmetology license they already have, these are the kinds of regulations we are trying to see done away with,” said Aldridge.
Mike Hurst, Director of the Mississippi Justice Institute and General Counsel for the Mississippi Center for Public Policy said their organization is looking for cases just like these mentioned in which the government has gotten out of line with the amount of regulations placed on small businesses.
“This [small businesses] is the lifeblood of our country, it is the engine of economic growth for us,” said Hurst.
Hurst said more often than not these regulations are put in place as protectionism. Situations in which the government passes regulations that would protect preexisting businesses from new businesses advancing.
“It’s not a democrat, republican thing, it’s a protectionism thing. And honestly I think that’s what fueled the election of Donald Trump,” said Hurst. “He’s tired of the crony capitalism, he’s tired of the way the system is rigged, if you will. He wants the small mom and pops to have a chance.”
Together organizations like the NFIB and Mississippi Justice Institute are working to rid the state of unreasonable regulations, in an attempt to see small business grow.
“We aren’t asking for a hand out, we’re just asking for an opportunity,” said Hurst.
The NFIB released as statement urging business owners to contact them regarding any regulation issues:
“The Mississippi office of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is partnering with the Mississippi Small Business Regulatory Review Committee on a monthlong campaign aimed at encouraging the state’s small-business owners to speak out about the government rules and regulations making it difficult for them to grow their businesses and create jobs.
“The costly issue of burdensome regulations is one of the greatest concerns facing the state’s small-business community,” said Ron Aldridge, state director of NFIB and chairman of the state’s Small Business Regulatory Review Committee.
“NFIB is the voice of small business, and we’re asking the state’s small-business community to join our members in sharing their experiences about any rules or regulations they consider outdated, unfair, discriminatory, excessively burdensome or just plain bad,” Aldridge said.
NFIB is urging small-business owners to visit its state website, www.NFIB.com/MS, and complete a survey asking them to list the rules and regulations they consider most unfair and explain how they’re affected by them.”
“There’s strength in numbers,” Aldridge said. “If enough small-business owners speak up about bad rules and regulations, then our elected officials won’t be able to ignore them.
“We need to create an environment where small businesses can grow and prosper,” Aldridge said. “Small business is the engine that drives our economy. Small businesses account for about 96 percent of all businesses in the state and employ nearly half of the state’s private-sector workforce.
“When you help small businesses, you help everybody.”
NFIB is Mississippi’s and the nation’s leading small-business association. To learn more, visit www.NFIB.com/MS.”