New Statewide Group Forms to Fight Burdensome Ordinances On Small Businesses

With “Small Business Saturday” in the rearview and a bustling holiday season on our doorstep, now is the time of year when many pause to reflect on what local businesses bring to patrons and their community, and how we as Texans can better support them in the remaining eleven months of the year.

This year is no exception, especially as Texas small businesses are under fire now more than ever. Unfortunately, certain Texas municipalities have taken strides to pass burdensome regulations on businesses in recent years, making it increasingly difficult for small businesses to remain profitable and conduct commerce across city lines. We’re talking specifically about local ordinances mandating certain employer benefits, scheduling and hiring practices like mandatory paid sick leave, for instance.

This breed of local regulations is adversely affecting the employer-employee relationship, and in doing so has highlighted a real need for statewide legislation that would preempt municipalities from instituting these local ordinances in the first place. After all, they make it difficult for the State of Texas to attract new businesses, and they often force employers to slash budgets, lay off employees or worse – close their businesses for good. As the need grew and more businesses and trade organizations came to the table in search of a solution, the Alliance for Securing and Strengthening the Economy in Texas, or ASSET, was born.

ASSET is a 501(c)(4), non-profit advocacy coalition of sixteen business groups that was formed in October to fight for public policies that protect Texas small businesses from these burdensome government regulations. Their goal is to bring more businesses to the table to advocate for a statewide legislative solution that would put a stop to these harmful patchwork ordinances for good.

Increasingly, Texas cities have faced unnecessary pressures to expand their regulatory scope and pass these ordinances – and ASSET believes state law says they shouldn’t have to. At the end of the day, employers and their employees are in the best position to decide what’s best for their businesses – not government.

While offering better benefits allows businesses to stay competitive and retain top talent, local regulations shouldn’t force them to make these costly decisions. Just because government mandates something to be done doesn’t mean a small business can afford it, after all.

As we head into the holiday season and the legislative session, let’s keep in mind the many ways we can help support small businesses. Coming together in support of this effort and organization is a good place to start.

To learn more about ASSET and its mission, visit www.ASSETtexas.com.

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