For anyone trying to do business in New York, this state is a regulatory nightmare.
The rules are numerous, complex and either require extensive legal expertise or a good relationship with a state agency to sift through them all.
Complying with these regulations costs time and money, which small businesses in particular often have in short supply. All that staff time and legal assistance cuts into profits, is passed on to customers, or both.
The consumer cost of regulations helps drive up the cost of living here and no doubt contributes to lower quality of life and to people leaving the state for cheaper pastures.
Those costs also make it more difficult for businesses to get started, thrive and compete here, forcing them to do business in other states where the regulatory climate is less intense.
That, in turn, cuts down on the tax revenue the state receives from business taxes, driving up taxes for all of us.
The Empire Center estimates that New Yorkers contend with more than 300,000 regulatory restrictions.
Of course, not all regulation is bad. New York has a well-earned reputation for protecting the environment, supporting workers’ rights and being tough on unsavory business practices, all of which protect New Yorkers in ways other states don’t.
But many regulations are excessive and outdated, and need to modified or eliminated.
To help citizens and lawmakers be more aware of the regulatory overreach, the Empire Center is currently hosting a contest, complete with prizes, asking individuals and businesses to submit regulations they feel are needlessly expensive and restrictive.
Among the samples the nonprofit watchdog agency cites is a requirement that stylists who work in hair salons that only offer hair washing, blow-drying and styling services, so-called “drybars,” must complete 300 hours of training. That equates to almost two months of training, to cut and style hair!
Another example: horse massage therapy. It’s banned in New York unless you’re a licensed veterinarian. Those who perform message therapy on horses without their DVM face criminal and civil penalties.
The Empire Center also cites the state’s law against celling wine in grocery stores, which hamstrings the wine industry.
No doubt business operators and others can come up with many others.
The winner of the contest gets a cash prize and an opportunity to come to Albany to lobby lawmakers for change.
The deadline for entries is Friday, Feb. 14, with a winner to be announced on Feb. 20.
This is a unique chance to focus attention on New York’s regulatory climate, to offer solutions based on your experiences, and perhaps to get the attention of state lawmakers and inspire change.
Visit https://www.deregulateny.com/ to enter.