The Small Business Bill of Rights

Developed this 1st day of September 2011, by the Government Affairs Council of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce based on input from small business members.

Whereas Small Business Owners create 80 percent of new jobs throughout the Fresno area, California and the Nation; and

Whereas Small Business Owners contribute to the economic well being of the Fresno area, California and the Nation through innovative ideas, risking their personal assets and through their payrolls, taxes, purchases, and personal contributions; and

Whereas Small Business Owners are faced with continuous challenges to remain in business due to government at all levels issuing new mandates, fees, taxes and permit requirements.

Therefore Small Business Owners and the Fresno Chamber of Commerce are calling on local, state and federal elected officials to heed this Call to Action; and thereby

Resolve to ensure that they make every effort to create a positive climate for Small Businesses to thrive by addressing these Articles of the Small Business Bill of Rights:

Article 1: Conduct business in a state, county and city that appreciate the contributions that businesses make to the economic well being of our area and our citizens.

Article 2: Hire a qualified workforce with the work ethic and basic skills necessary to be strong contributors to my business.

Article 3: Run my business without being subject to predatory or frivolous lawsuits.

Article 4: Fairly compete against businesses that are licensed and have all required permits to operate; and rely on local and state government to prosecute unlicensed business operators.

Article 5: Count on public safety officials to act quickly against crime, arresting, prosecuting and keeping criminals behind bars to demonstrate that this region is a safe place to conduct business.

Article 6: Access to affordable health insurance for employees without being subjected to government mandates and health insurance taxes.

Article 7: Provide workers’ compensation insurance for my employees, ensuring adequate medical care without being subject to a litigious system for paying permanent disability and fraudulent workers’ compensation claims.

Article 8: Access to financing at a
reasonable price to operate and grow my business.

Article 9: Operate my business without unreasonable government interference and mandates including regulations that prevent access to necessary information, unreasonable environmental regulations, employee benefit mandates, and mandated increases to minimum wages and more.

Article 10: Operate without an ever-increasing demand for higher taxes and fees at the local, state and federal level, i.e. public safety fees, sales taxes, unemployment insurance, local government fees, income taxes, property taxes and more.

Article 11: Be able to compete fairly for contracts with the City and County; operate within a transparent system that is easy to understand.

Article 12: Reduce the amount of paperwork required to comply with the many state, federal and local regulations.

Article 13: Advertise my business by having reasonable signage to attract customers.

Article 14: Access to a streamlined permitting process in the City and County.

Article 15: Access to interstates, highways and surface streets that are well-planned and maintained in order to move raw materials and finished goods to market.

Article 16: A fair workplace that allows informed workers to make decisions, including the decision to organize without harm to the secret ballot process, without union or government interference.


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