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September 18th, 2013 10:22 am
Detroit’s Idiotic War on Small Businesses

Detroit leaders hoping to revitalize the collapsing city are shooting themselves in the foot by engaging in a war against small business, according to a fascinating article and video on Reason magazine’s website.

“Amidst a bankruptcy and a fast-dwindling population and tax base, the city has prioritized the task of ensuring that all businesses are in compliance with its codes and permitting. To accomplish this, Mayor David Bing announced in January that he’d assembled a task force to execute Operation Compliance,” writes Zach Weissmueller.

The only way to turn around a city facing an 18.6 percent unemployment rate, a population that declined from 2 million to 700,000 and a glut of more than 76,000 abandoned houses and businesses is to stimulate job growth by fostering a welcoming climate for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Bing’s foolish and vindictive Operation Compliance ignores that reality. His scheme actually began with a stated goal of shutting down 20 businesses a week.

The piece notes that “Operation Compliance unfairly targets small, struggling businesses in poor areas of town and that the city’s maze of regulations is nearly impossible to navigate, with permit fees that are excessive and damaging to businesses running on thin profit margins.”

In just eight months, the program has been responsible for the closure of 383 small businesses – and forcing thousands of additional Detroit residents to the unemployment line.

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