Letter: Spurring innovation by cutting red tape

Tamra Kennedy

From restaurants to fitness centers and art studios to learning centers, we rely on franchise businesses to help make our lives easier, more productive and more fun.

Franchising offers innovators the chance to go into business for themselves but not by themselves. Franchise businesses create jobs, serve as vocational and leadership training for thousands of young people, and create revenue for communities. If you are a young entrepreneur, franchising is a great way to jumpstart your business. I have been franchising for 33 years and witnessed the growth in a proven system for small business ownership.

Franchising also supports Minnesota-based charities and community organizations. My Taco John’s, for example, works with local charities, like Second Harvest Heartland, and supports schools with donations and sponsorships. I consider our neighbors and civic leaders part of our Taco John’s family.

Innovators and business owners face one big barrier to growth: red tape. Rules and regulations, mandated by every level of government, place a heavy burden on small businesses, making it exceedingly complicated and costly, which stifles growth and discourages people from opening businesses.

Last week, Congress moved to cut some of that red tape. New legislation, called the Save Local Business Act (H.R. 3441), would protect workers and future business owners by leaving decisions about hiring, work schedules and pay increases in the hands of employers, where they belong. We are excited to see this legislation move forward.

Franchising is where hard work, collaboration and community come together. It is an avenue for young people to pursue their business dreams with a model that works. Worldwide brands such as Anytime Fitness started in Minnesota and still call our great state home.

I would like Minnesota to remain a capital of business innovation. By encouraging our next generation to pursue franchising — and implementing sensible rules and regulations to support them — I think it will.

EditorNote: This letter has been edited slightly for grammar and style.

Tamra Kennedy is the owner and franchisee of Taco John’s in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.