Freedom for Home Baking, Lemonade, and Fitness Entrepreneurs
|Link to Lemonade Freedom site|
Poor instruction from a fitness trainer can cause injuries. Food improperly prepared in home kitchens can make people sick. Lemonade stands can serve goods too sour or too sweet. Local and state regulators take it upon themselves to pass and enforce regulations on millions of home-based enterprises and street vendors.
For NCFCA debaters researching the federal court system reform topic, it is worth considering whether small-businesses, including home businesses, have rights and liberties that should be protected by the courts from sometimes arbitrary legislation and regulations by state and local government agencies.
Nick Sibilla’s Institute for Justice article in Forbes (September 22, 2014), “Here’s the “Texans Created Over A Thousand Local Businesses After Texas Eased Restrictions On Selling Food Made At Home,” tells the Texas story:
Texas is enjoying a burst of entrepreneurship after enacting laws that let anyone turn a home kitchen into a business incubator. Under “cottage food” laws, people can sell food baked or cooked at home, like cookies, cakes and jams, if it’s deemed to have a very low chance of causing foodborne illnesses. Crucially, cottage food laws exempt home bakers from having to rent commercial kitchen space.
Sibilla reports that Texas baking freedom legislation came in steps:
Under the first cottage food law (SB 81) passed back in 2011, Texans were limited to selling only baked goods, jams, jellies and dried herbs. But the state’s second cottage food law (HB 970), enacted September 1, 2013, redefined “cottage food” to make it more encompassing
And later state legislation, Sibilla notes, stopped local government from using zoning laws to restrict local baking:
With HB 970, Texas lawmakers also closed a loophole in the state’s first cottage food law. By enforcing zoning ordinances, local governments could essentially ban bakers from operating out of their homes. One woman in Frisco was told her home-based gluten-free bakery violated the town’s zoning laws. Now state law explicitly bans cities and counties from using zoning to stop cottage food businesses.
Institute for Justice has a page of Forbes articles on similar regulatory issues, including a July 31, 2015 article on Obama Administration calls for reducing licensing regulations:
The Obama Administration is backing the fight to roll back occupational licensing, a little-known drain on the economy. Typically associated with fields like law and medicine, today a quarter of America’s workforce now needs a license to work—a fivefold increase from the 1950s and more than double the number of Americans who are now union members.
This Institute for Justice video, “Should You Need the Government’s Permission to Work?” outlines how licensing regulations have grown over the last sixty years.
Minnesota passed a new law in 2015 (SF 5) which greatly improves their former cottage food law, which used to be one of the most restrictive in the nation. Cottage food operations can now sell most types of non-potentially hazardous foods from home and at some local markets, and they can sell up to $18,000 of products per year. Before starting their business, an operation needs to register with the ag department and take a food safety training course.
From the Kitchen to the Fitness Center
From regulators looking to judge people’s fitness to sell home-cooking, we move to regulators judging fitness to teach fitness…
D.C….government is developing misguided regulations that would add burdensome red tape to the most innovative fitness programs. Specifically, the D.C. Council has enacted a law — the first in the nation — that would define what personal fitness trainers can and cannot do, require them to register. …
If early drafts of the regulations are advanced, D.C. fitness trainers will have to divert their attention from improving lives to bureaucratic burdens: taking courses they don’t need, adhering to methods they don’t believe in, paying fees that will be passed on to their clients and looking over their shoulders at ever-present regulators. The draft regulations even call for a four-year college degree.
Mitchell’s article also links to his September 22, 2010 column reporting on the overall cost of over-regulation: “Strangling Entrepreneurship and Job Creation with $1.75 Trillion of Regulation and Red Tape” citing and quoting from a study from the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy:
The research finds that the total costs of federal regulations have further increased from the level established in the 2005 study, as have the costs per employee. More specifically, the total cost of federal regulations has increased to $1.75 trillion, while the updated cost per employee for firms with fewer than 20 employees is now $10,585 (a 36 percent difference between the costs incurred by small firms when compared with their larger counterparts).
And the Lemonade Freedom website reports on “criminal” lemonade-selling activities. The latest lemonade shutdown from Texas in a June 9, 2015 report…
Andria and her sister Zoey of Overton, Texas wanted to take their dad to Splash Kingdom for Father’s Day, but they needed money to do that. So, like so many other kids with their entrepreneurial spirit, they decided to set up a lemonade stand in front of their house to make some money. Everything was going well. They were selling lemonade for 50 Cents per cup. At this point, the two girls made approximately $27. Until a local police officer came by, and told them that they had to shut it down because they didn’t have a permit. (haven’t we heard this story so many times before). This is when their mother, Sandi Downs Evans attempted to get a permit for her two children to sell lemonade. She found out that the permit would cost them $150. So, she went down to the local bureaucrats and attempted to buy a permit, only to discover, that she could not get a permit there. They informed her that she would need to go to the county, and that the process would take days, because she would also be required to have her kitchen inspected…