If you ask business owners what frustrates them most about running their businesses, one of the resounding answers will be the amount of “red tape” they have to deal with on a daily basis. As anyone in the business community can tell you, running a business in today’s economy has many challenges, and government regulations are at the top of the list. Whether the rules address workforce, finances or actual processes used to produce goods or services, they often result in delays, fees, inspections, reporting and in some cases, enforcement penalties and fines.
Currently there are more than 4,500 regulations on the books in Kentucky, and only 15 to 20 percent of them have been reviewed recently to determine their effectiveness. That leaves a lot of regulations that we honestly don’t know if they are needed or are working.
Luckily, here in Kentucky, there may be some relief coming to cut some of this red tape. Gov. Matt Bevin recently announced his Red Tape Reduction Initiative, asking Kentuckians to identify burdensome regulations and offer suggestions for improvement. We have asked our members, and all Kentucky businesses, to visit the website (redtapereduction.com) and share their views about the regulations they believe are a barrier to their businesses and how they potentially could be fixed. This is a tremendous opportunity to cite regulations that make it difficult for businesses to keep their doors open and employ Kentuckians, and it is one that should not be wasted.
All Kentucky businesses are urged to participate in this effort. When deciding what suggestions to offer, consider not only actual regulations that should be amended or repealed but also reporting requirements, inspections and enforcement processes and fees. It may not be a regulation that causes the red tape but instead is the process of implementing the rule that creates the delays and added costs of doing business. It also is important to consider that technology and equipment have changed over time, but regulations might not have been amended to reflect those changes.
The Chamber recognizes the need for smart regulations to ensure workplace safety and protect public health. But with a huge price tag in compliance costs and an increasing number of complex rules, it’s clear our regulatory system isn’t working the way it should. Many of these regulations simply stifle economic growth and impose unnecessary costs that businesses have to pass along to their customers.
Kentuckians deserve a regulatory system that is fair for everyone, takes into account the views of communities and businesses, evaluates the impact they have on jobs and businesses, and protects our economic and personal freedoms.
By examining our regulatory system, we can take an important step toward ensuring Kentucky has pro-growth policies that will help attract business to our commonwealth.
Don’t miss your chance to be heard. Visit the website and submit your ideas. The governor and his team are committed to seriously reviewing all suggestions and improving the business climate of Kentucky. ■
Dave Adkisson is president and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce