Friday, July 8, 2011

Latino business group says "NO" to job-killer bill

Forcing large businesses to spend more money before they even open will discourage them from setting up shop in California.

LBA Chair Ruben Guerra
SACRAMENTO, CA -- The Latin BusinessAssociation, which represents over 4,000 small businesses primarily in the Los Angeles area, took to California’s state capitol last month to encourage Assemblymembers to defeat Senate Bill 469.  Introduced by Senator Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) and passed in the state senate, SB 469 would force “superstores” to go an additional economic impact assessment in addition to an environmental impact report.  The legislation will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee next.

With Speaker John Perez' Staff
“SB 469 is a job killer,” says LBA Chairman Ruben Guerra.  “If it is signed into law, any business wanting to expand their current location or relocate their business to a larger facility will need to pass an additional hurdle that will make them rethink their growth, which means less jobs.”

Vargas, who has a record of supporting small businesses, authored SB 469 in an effort to curb the growth of “big box” stores known to have an adverse impact on “mom and pop” shops.  However, the LBA believes that in an already stressed economy such a move would have a worse impact.

“New or expanding stores right now mean jobs,” adds Guerra.  “We understand Senator Vargas’ intent, but adding an additional hurdle will hurt the economy because it discourages job growth.”
With Assemblymember Manuel Perez
Guerra argues that when a “superstore” like WalMart opens, they usually hire over one hundred employees, which results in additional taxes paid into government coffers.  Forcing these businesses to spend more money before they even open will discourage them from setting up shop in California.

“We have a huge unemployment rate in California that is having a major impact on our small businesses, schools, and other government programs,” says Guerra.  “We should all be working toward expanding jobs, even minimum wage jobs, versus no jobs at all.”

Welcome from Senate Latino Leaders
Currently, local governments require the building or major modification of a commercial property to undergo an Environmental Impact Report, which includes an economic assessment.  SB 469 would add a separate economic impact report and viewed as an additional layer to an already convoluted local bureaucratic process.

“The LBA is taking a strong stand on this bill and we know we have already gained the support of several legislators to oppose its passage,” says Guerra.  “Plus, we are not alone, a number of chambers of commerce across the state are also in opposition to this bill.”

The LBA is one of the most influential Business Associations in the US established in 1976.  It's influence and growth includes establishing bi-national trade agreements with several Mexican states and its members.  

For more information, visit the LBA website at

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