Good Intentions

Published: 1/11/201

2019 Predictions

From the CEO “God save us from people who mean well.” This is a quote from author Vikram Seth, but it could also be from many of us who live and work in California. I believe the Legislature means well with many of the laws it passes, but I don’t believe our elected officials always take into account the unintended consequences, or collateral damage, that might come from these laws. This week, the Cerritos Planning Commission passed some regulations around sidewalk vending. Oh, you didn’t know sidewalk vending was allowed in Cerritos? It wasn’t until January 1st when a new law went into effect, mandating that sidewalk vending be legal Statewide. I have two problems with this law. The first is unfair competition. Our local retailers and restaurants have spent, and spend, quite a bit of capital on their businesses. The investment in a cart to sell items on a sidewalk will be much less. Also, these carts can park on the sidewalk right in front of a business, and there’s nothing the business can do. My other issue with this law is that it continues the theme of taking local control away from cities. The State simply said every city needs to comply with this law, no matter the local impact. Taking away local control has been a growing issue in our state since the dissolution of redevelopment. Maybe the Legislature knows better than all of us here on the ground in our unique communities, but I don’t think so. This law is intended to help low-income entrepreneurs start a business, potentially pulling them out of poverty. I don’t think anyone has a problem with the spirit of this law. However, the spillover will certainly have an impact. Sidewalk vending is another activity the City has to monitor, adding cost to a tight budget. Maybe there will be no interest in having a sidewalk vending business in our City’s parks or sidewalks. Maybe only local businesses will take advantage of this opportunity. Then again, maybe we’ll have a mess on our hands. As we roll into the third week of the year, we are looking at a busy Chamber calendar. Next week we have Let’s Do Lunch at STACKED Restaurant. Expect some great food and productive networking. The following week we hope to see you at Jeans & Java at Starbucks. Finally, we finish up the month with what I think is the most important event we hold each year – the Labor Law Update. This event, presented by Ann K. Smith, Esq. from AALRR, is full of information every employer needs to know. Each year the legislators in Sacramento love to add new laws, Ann will help break these new laws down for you. Have a great weekend!


scott Scott Smith President/CEO  Weekly Quote:
First, think. Second, believe. Third, dream. And finally, dare. Walt Disney

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