Helping local businesses thrive

Published 12:44 pm Thursday, May 16, 2013

By SLADE BLACKWELL / Guest Columnist

Recently, Gov. Robert Bentley signed the Red Tape Reduction Act, sponsored by fellow Shelby County legislator, Rep. April Weaver. As a small business owner, I know about the hardships many businesses face and I believe this bill is a major milestone in making it easier to do business in Alabama.

The Red Tape Reduction Act is designed to relieve businesses of all sizes from needless and inefficient government bureaucracy and regulation. The bill requires any government agency proposing a rule that might have an adverse effect on business to file a Business Economic Impact Statement prior to its adoption if the agency receives a complaint that the regulation might negatively impact a business.

All existing rules and regulations must also be reviewed every five years in order to determine whether they should be amended, rescinded or remain unchanged. Information related to proposed and existing regulation reviews will also be placed on agency websites in order to allow for public access.

This is great news for our job creators and bad news for government bureaucrats. Small business owners in Shelby County and throughout the state should be able to spend their time growing their business and creating jobs instead of getting bogged down trying to comply with pointless government regulations.

It’s legislation like this that caused a recent study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to give Alabama an A+ rating for business friendliness.

They ranked us the second most business-friendly state in the entire country. I’ll be doing everything I can to make sure we’re No. 1 next year by continuing to support smart, conservative legislation that will help businesses thrive in Alabama.

Slade Blackwell is serving his first term in the Alabama State Senate, representing Jefferson and Shelby Counties in District 15.