Business owners say NY may be open for business, but not easy for business

Posted at: 10/02/2013 5:44 PM
Updated at: 10/02/2013 6:23 PM
By: Mark Mulholland

SARATOGA SPRINGS - When you title an event a regulatory repeal forum, you mean business.

State senators, including Kathy Marchione, R - Halfmoon, are on a tour of New York to find out which of the states millions of regulations are most burdensome to business.

They plan to take the one-thousand or so most onerous back to Albany and repeal them.

Here they were in Saratoga Springs Wednesday, a hotbed for hospitality, to find out what gets in the way of area tourism-dependent businesses.

One after another, business leaders testified about job-killing regulations that cost too much, or take too much time.

"Regulations and the bureaucracy, in spite of good intentions, can still do harm to our local economy," said Todd Shimkus, president of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce. "And what we need to do is find ways to better partner with the state, better partner with the regulators to make sure they understand that it's tough doing business in New York."

Christine Hoffer knows that too well. The owner of a Rice Mansion Inn in Cambridge told lawmakers how several state agencies put up so many unnecessary and costly roadblocks that she and her husband might have to close their inn.

"From my perspective as a small business owner, New York State is not open for business," said Hoffer.

The senators are the messengers here. They plan to take the specific economy-blocking regulations to the governor and ask him to direct state agencies to do away with them.