Thanks Colorado Springs for Destroying Small Businesses

I am seeing on the news that the Balloon Classic may not be able to hold its annual event next year because the city is requesting an additional $24,000 to provide for “safety” – barricades and more police officers.  The person who runs the event says that this is a hard hit for them as a small business – yeah, I am sure it is.  They should be outraged.

Colorado Springs is forgetting about how much money that event brings in to the City.  The inability to work with people who have run successful events like these for DECADES is a blatant example of government elitists destroying businesses and people who work in government being ignorant of the extreme difficulty for small business owners.  We are legislating our way out of any type of sanity and successful economic policy.  When “safety” is actually a way to generate revenue for government, we must remember that ultimately no one can protect us from everything.  Sometimes we have to take a chance.  I am betting that the Balloon Classic would go on just as well without more barricades and more police officers.  I hope that Colorado Springs officials recognize how horrendous this $24,000 bill would be to a small business owner.

This is just like the grounding of the Thunderbirds – a staple for us in Colorado (and elsewhere).  The Thunderbirds did not do their flyover at the Air Force Academy’s graduation this year because of the sequester.  Really?  Way to punish the people who are writing your paychecks.  The President could have taken one less trip on Air Force One and funded large amounts of these events for people who love them, and love our servicemen and women.  This was to punish us.  I think that the people making these outrageous policies should be punished – why don’t they take a pay cut?

When people in government think they know more than the people working their tail off to provide tax revenues to pay their paycheck, it leads to dangerous policies being enacted that allow force to be used against those who are not a part of government.  For the people running the Colorado Springs Balloon Classic, I hope they get a good and active group of citizens behind them to get rid of this upcoming $24,000 bill.

Regulations, Fees, and Taxes

I’ve been traveling across the beautiful state of Colorado. During my journey, I’ve met a lot of small business owners that share in the frustrations that I experience as a small business owner. During this election and down economy, we as a community must change the current system to have it better for small businesses. But first, it’s important to understand the effect of small businesses on our community.

Why should we care about small businesses?   Small businesses are the heart and soul of a community – they are able to efficiently provide products and services that are tailored to a specific community’s need.   We all know the tragedy of the box-store – a lot of products at a low price, but not necessarily anyone who wants to help you (even though the back of their blue-jackets say they do).  Those big stores are oftentimes lured into communities with attractive tax-breaks packages, and as soon as those benefits end, that store leaves the community.  Small businesses are different in that they are tied to their community – the people who own small businesses generally live there in addition to working there.  These people have their children in the schools that are located in the community. When small business owners pay their taxes, these taxes are going to pay for public services that they will use. They earn money to invest into houses, roads, and the hope that the community will grow and continue to provide for their time invested there.  This understanding of their time and investment, makes small business owners the heart and soul of that community – they are an integral part of the economic development that takes place.

Here are two examples of small business owners that I’ve met during my journey across Colorado.

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CASE A:  A well-known nutritionist and health coach, Jane, has inquiries from her customers about starting to prepare meals and sell them, so these customers can have ready-made healthy meals made from local ingredients.   Jane does her due diligence and goes to talk to the local health department about what she needs to do to be in compliance.  The health department tells her that she has to pay three different fees for licenses.  Looking through the state health department book , the bureaucrat determines that what she is doing has never been done before. The procedure then becomes to hold on everything and wait until they call her back to tell her whether or not she can operate at all.  In the meantime, since Jane is going to be serving meat, the city health department tells her that she must be USDA certified – even though she gets the meat from a USDA certified and even though restaurants around the rest of city who also serve meat, do not have to be USDA certified!  Jane is halted from buying raw ingredients and products (sales tax revenue for the city), and then selling healthy, ready-made meals to her customers (sales revenue for the city).

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CASE B: A young entrepreneur, Tanya, has several farmers from around the area contact her because they have not been invited to participate in a newly-run market on a newly-developed part of the city called the Historic Riverwalk Project (funded by city sales tax revenue).  Tanya decides that she will also start a small farmers market, where anyone is welcome to participate, providing they pay a small fee to help cover her costs.  Doing her due diligence, she goes to the various City and County offices to make sure she is in compliance.  To even run her market, she is required to get and pay for a background check (approx.  $10) at the police department (even though she has a concealed carry permit [approx. $300]).  In order to have electricity, she is required to pay a fee every week (approx. $15), for every vendor (total of approx. $60), in addition to a fee every week for the event itself  (approx. $35). Furthermore, she is required to hire a certified electrician (approx. $60) every week to check the plugs that are being plugged into a building that is a city/county building which is already certified!  At the first event she is told that each vendor needs to have a certified GFI plug-in or adapter to plug into the already-GFI-certified building ($20×4 = approx. $80).  For an 8-week event, this is approximately $1040 just to plug in four electrical cords every week!  The health department tells Tanya, that even though her vendors coming from other parts of the state have insurance and are licensed to sell food in their respective counties, they must re-certify their products with their city health department (approx. $150).  This is a price that these vendors cannot afford, and decide not to come from other counties into the city for that farmers market (city sales tax revenue).   The money is extracted from Tanya and her market, so she does not make enough money to realize a profit, and she decides to not bring vendors (sales tax revenue) and products and services to the community to sell their wares (sales tax revenue).
Two small examples in a growing example of what small businesses are up against in order to survive.

Whiskey + Renewable Energy + Savings for Business = FABULOUS

This is an article about a Scotch distillery that is using an anaerobic digester to process a waste-product into an energy source for the company.  This could save the business up to $175,000 per year!

The waste-product, called “pot ale” is basically water that is left over after the alcohol is extracted.  The cost to dispose of such waste ran the company around $30,000 per year.

Now, this company is using its waste to power up to 80% of its energy needs – NOW THAT IS SUSTAINABLE, and not only that, it is better for their bottom line.

READ THE WHOLE STORY HERE

Small Business Owners – People We Can Count On

There is nothing like the care and expertise of someone who owns their own small business.  In the case of Mark Dalton, at High View Books, his dedication to his customers could provide a real example for those “big” companies on Wall Street that seem to have forgotten that the customer counts.

Nothing is wrong with “big”, but when a company is “too big to fail” then it may have implications for their customers.

When you know the people you do business with, not only is it more enjoyable (generally) – you know you are supporting someone in the local economy.

Read the whole story by Bob Greene here.

-Tisha Casida

Government Intervention of Salt

These are the kind of things that make me apoplectic.

The over-abundance of salt in foods is a “public health crisis” according to Rep. Rosa DeLauro from Connecticut.

Yes, people eat too much salt.  The reason is because they are eating WAY TOO MANY PROCESSED FOODS.  Which is their choice.  It is people’s choice to read the label of the food they are eating, it is people’s choice to ignore it.  It is people’s choice to make decisions that affect their health.  Period.  Government intervention and regulation of how much salt goes into foods is just another dangerous addition of red tape into various sectors of businesses.  If they regulate big business – they will regulate the small ones too – and that affects small business owners like myself.

Any time there are additional regulations (and God knows that we DO NEED SOME regulations), regulations that go BEYOND protecting people’s liberty and the free market, one must really look at the consequences of such.

People make choices about what they eat – that is called freedom. If we need the government to tell food manufacturers what to cook for us, we are in big trouble.

Whole story is HERE:

By: Tisha Casida

Recession Busters

It’s now or never, and it’s up to us.  The more we rely upon national indicators, the more we will be disappointed.

The recession is very real, but WE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE make it.  WE are the constituents and WE are the consumers.  Even if the dollar crashed, WE THE PEOPLE would find ways to make it.

Epicurus said, “You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday.  You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”

And this is true – we are in very difficult times (The Good American Post is made up of independent contractors and small businesses), but this is no reason to throw in the towel – now it’s time to step up.

We are recession busters, and we are looking for more people who want to take control of this country’s future.

1. We want contributors

2. We want sales-people who can sell a product that appeals to the American people

3. We want independent thinkers to tell us how we are doing

Contact us for more information for how to contribute, make money, and be a part of our growing team.

goodamericanpost@gmail.com

Liberty & The Mustard Seed – Part III

By: Tisha Casida

Competition is an inherent and necessary component of an economy working with scarce resources.  There is no choice but to have competition, it is a naturally-occurring phenomenon that will never change on planet earth because we will always have scarcity – or finite resources.  Competition is not evil – it is unavoidable and very healthy for people.  Competition evolves regardless of where money is coming from – whether it is from multi-national corporations, small businesses, non-profit organizations, or the government.  If we are working within the medium of a free-market economy, business and organization-owners/operators are continuously bidding against each other in the marketplace.  A development company may be deciding how much they are willing to pay for lumber to build condominiums, a preacher may be deciding how much they are willing to pay for lumber to build a church.  When they decide how much they are willing to pay and how much of the product they will consume, they are bidding against each other, in the marketplace.  In this situation you would likely not see the development company pitted against the church because they are competing freely in the marketplace.   However, if the government is in control of “giving” lumber to various entities, then you would soon see this development company and this church competing against each other in other more vocal, and likely more violent ways.  The entity that had more influence or clout (can you see the effect of politicking here?) would likely get the lumber from the government.  Lumber is a scarce resource – there is only so much, so there WILL be competition, regardless of whether that lumber is competed against in the free-market or competed against in a government-controlled situation.  The free-market allows for competition from millions of individual purchasers.  Centrally-controlled markets (i.e. government-funded programs/subsidies/bailouts) still allow for competition, but competition stems from those who can buy influence and power – a much smaller portion of the population – generally not people like you and I (average middle-class Americans).  In summary, “competing indirectly by having to keep your demands within the limits of your own pocketbook is very different from seeing your desires for government benefits thwarted directly by the rival claims of some other group” (Sowell, 2007, p. 77).

Red tape  is a continuous and pervasive factor in conducting business in this great country.  It starts at the national level and trickles down to states and municipalities – many of you reading this book know exactly what I am referring to.  Additional rules, requirements, fees, and filings fill our mailboxes and our precious resource of time (and money), trying to maintain the capacity to just operate, much less run a business and prosper.  “Any attempt to get rid of some of this red tape is likely to be countered by officials who point out what useful purpose it may serve in some circumstances.  But they are unlikely even to pose the question whether its incremental value exceeds its incremental costs.  There are no incentives for them to look at things this way” (Sowell, 2007, p. 81).  We ALL rely on incentives – you and I as consumers, and people in government – those who create these rules, requirements, fees, and filings that inundate us with time-consuming activities that rarely help.  We all rely on incentives.

“History does not teach fatalism.  There are moments when the will of a handful of free men breaks through determinism and opens up new roads.” ~Charles de Gaulle

Reference:

Sowell, T. (2007). Basic Economies, Third Edition. New York: Perseus Books Group.

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