Letter to the editor for January 31, 2007

Dear Editor,

Alabama&8217;s nearly 353,000 small businesses are the economic engine of our state. With a little creativity and ingenuity, the next few years could be very productive for small businesses. The free market is developing new solutions every day, but business does not take credit for them nor are they applied to government policies. The small business enterprise does not tolerate inefficiency and replaces obsolete programs with innovation and efficiency. Clearly, this is the model for state government. Small business can set the right agenda.

To what extent does Alabama need a bold new program of tort, tax, regulatory, and education reform to respond to growing competition from other states not to mention India and China? Collectively, small business is perfectly positioned to educate their employees

who in turn will influence lawmakers to act decisively to enact: Tax breaks to small businesses that provide health insurance coverage for their employees. Repeal of personal property tax on business furniture and equipment. Don&8217;t hold employers responsible if they hire unknowingly an illegal alien and that person presented false information. State regulators need to issue written or electronic documentation of problems and solutions when an audit of the business facility or practice reveals a need for corrective action. Require state agencies to consider the financial impact of any proposed regulations on small business. Small business constituents have a greater impact on their representatives’ voting behavior than Montgomery lobbyists. Alabama&8217;s small business community can be one of the most important

forces for change in the state legislature.

Michael Ciamarra

Hoover

Dear Editor,

It is with heartfelt thanks that we write this letter to the City of Columbiana, Columbiana Merchant&8217;s Association, Shangri-La Assisted Living Facility, Columbiana United Methodist Church, The Shelby County Reporter and the many individuals for the outpouring of love that was extended to Mayme Horn as she celebrated her 100th birthday. Special thanks to Columbiana United Methodist Church for including grandmother in the Christmas Eve worship service and to Mrs. Jackie Cates and the ladies of the church who planned the beautiful reception afterwards.

One of the highlights of the 100th year celebration for grandmother was that she had her entire family, her son, Howell Horn (wife, Laura), her daughter, Carol Shurbet, granddaughters, Marsha H. Harbin and Kelli Gilmer (husband, Jeff), grandson Randall Shurbet (wife,

Jennifer) and seven great-grand children, Clay, Austin, Zach, Logan, Griffin, Dagan and Lillian, attending church with her on Christmas Eve.

Thank you to the City of Columbiana and Mayor Alan Lowe for the proclamation and declaration of Dec. 21 as Mayme Horn Day in Columbiana. Thank you to the Columbiana Merchant&8217;s Association for the birthday party at Shangri-La and for the staff for their assistance.

Thank you to the Shelby County Reporter for the article in the newspaper about grandmother. In several of the speeches that she made during all the festivities, Grandmother Horn stated &8220;…a little piece of heaven fell on Columbiana.&8221; She does love the city and the people

who reside there. It is not every family who is granted the opportunity to celebrate a 100th birthday for the matriarch of a family. We consider ourselves indeed blessed. Thanks to each and everyone who made the celebration of Mayme Horn&8217;s 100th birthday such a memorable day.

Marsha Horn Harbin

Birmingha