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Op-Ed: Red tape rollback initiative can help Georgia’s small businesses

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As a business owner, I understand the barriers that government red tape can cause for small businesses, which are truly the backbone of our economy in Georgia and across the country. These government regulations can waste Georgia businesses’ time and money, while directly inhibiting growth, expansion and entrepreneurship.

Skyrocketing costs and runaway inflation, caused by out-of-control spending by Joe Biden and both parties in Washington, have only made things more difficult for Georgia’s hardworking business owners, who are already hamstrung by government overreach and regulation.

As we celebrate Small Business Week, it’s worth stopping and remembering the work, the sacrifice, and the risk that goes into any small business. And take some time this week to visit your local small business – your local grocery store, hardware store, restaurant or coffee shop.

The hard-working Georgians with an entrepreneurial spirit who take an idea, put their money where their mouth is, and start something new are the heroes of our economic success in Georgia.

They are the cornerstone of what makes Georgia the No. 1 state in the country to do business. Restrictive regulation simply inhibits the state’s ability to remain the at the top of the leaderboard and continue to be competitive with states around the country, not to mention foreign countries.

After thorough consultation and input from the business community, I announced my Red Tape Rollback initiative prior to this year’s legislative session.

This initiative makes strides to free our business community from burdensome regulation and boost growth, job creation and economic development throughout our state. In order to keep Georgia’s business community thriving, we must work to empower our small businesses and ensure that regulations do not impede their opportunities for growth.

A number of bills under my Red Tape Rollback initiative reached final passage and currently await signature from the Governor. Senate Bill 341 reduces the size and scope of state government by eliminating boards, commissions, and other entities that are inactive or no longer serve their original purpose.

Senate Bill 354 creates licensure exemptions for individuals who only perform shampooing and blow-dry styling in order to reduce the burden of licensure for Georgia’s workforce and business owners.

Senate Bill 410 ensures a license is not required for veterinarians who are currently licensed in another state and provide animal sterilization services in Georgia.

Senate Bill 430 removes a COVID-19 signage requirement placed on all business and property owners in order to enjoy the benefits of a legal presumption that the law can already create.

All of these bills free businesses from harmful, overreaching, and outdated regulations that create an undue burden on small business owners in Georgia.

While Washington Democrats and Blue State politicians try to regulate and suffocate the small business communities in their state with higher taxes, burdensome regulations, and anti-business environments, we are doing everything we can to keep Georgia a business-friendly state so that we can continue to develop our economy and foster small business expansion and economic growth.

Our small businesses are the center of Georgia’s economic engine, and I will continue to prioritize initiatives that ease burdens on them and promote growth throughout Georgia.

I understand that businesses are at their best when the government gets out of their way. Our goal throughout this initiative has been to reduce the government’s burden on Georgia business owners. I am proud of the progress that we’ve made so far, but the work to keep Georgia’s small business community thriving remains ongoing.

I am committed to continuing the challenge to empower Georgia businesses, boost economic development, and facilitate growth within our business community in order to keep Georgia the number one state in the country to do business.

Burt Jones is a businessman, community leader, former state senator and the 13th Lieutenant Governor of the state of Georgia.

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