SACRAMENTO – As the highest taxed and regulated state in the country, California small business owners face many challenges when it comes to starting a business within the area. But one candidate is hoping to change this in the 34th Assembly District. 

Vince Fong is running for a 34th Assembly District seat and has come out in support of small businesses and making California friendlier to their operations. In California, small business owners are subject to a vast array of fees, taxes burdens and regulations to comply with that can make the process of starting and operating a business in the state challenging.

“California is an expensive state to do business,” Scott Hauge, president at Small Business California told the Northern California Record. “Of course taxes are a problem. Fees are a problem. Regulations are a problem and also rents in a lot of urban areas are really high. Workers compensation is expensive, so just from a cost standpoint, it’s a very expensive place to do business.”

This can be a potential problem for small businesses to get started in the state that has the highest sales tax in the nation, as well as one of the highest corporate taxes in the west. Hauge recommends that small business owners get help to navigate the regulations and operational costs that they will be subject to if they decide to open a business in California.

“It does get daunting if they don’t have some kind of counsel or someone they’re working with,” said Hauge. “The idea is if they can work with the Small Business Development Centers or SCORE. These are organizations that offer free services to small businesses to help them get started and understand what they need to comply within the state they are looking to set up shop."

Many legislators in California have said they support small businesses and will change the operating environment for these businesses to make it easier for them to survive in California. Hauge said those legislators need to fulfill the promises they make to the community and "actually do something to make an impact."

“Everybody loves small businesses,” said Hauge. “The problem is what they do about it. Everyone comes out and says we’re the backbone that supports the economy of the state of California and then they get elected and they don’t do anything.”

To help, Hauge recommends setting up an advisory committee to meet with small businesses in the various districts. While Fong isn’t a candidate in Hauge's district, Hauge supported his ideals. 

“I applaud him for reaching out to small businesses and trying to make it easier to do business in California. I think that is wonderful. The key is to follow up because they will tell you, 'you guys are really important,' but then nothing happens," Hauge said.

Input should also be taken from small businesses when it comes to exploring legislation that will impact them first hand. 

“What is so frustrating is when things get passed and they don’t get input from small businesses,” said Hauge. “It really makes it difficult.”

Fong, a Republican, will be on the ballot in the November election. He started his career as the chair of the ways and means committee under Congressman Bill Thomas. He also has served as district director to the House majority leader and Congressman Kevin McCarthy for nearly a decade.

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Organizations in this Story

State of California
1315 10th St
Sacramento, CA 95814-4905

Small Business Development Centers
3819-33 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

SCORE
2400 Main Street
Glastonbury, 06033

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