Our friends at Small Business California sponsored a bill carried by Senator Corbett to create a Made in California label to encourage consumer product awareness and the purchasing of goods made in the state. The bill, SB 12, passed its Senate committee unanimously and why not? Anyone promoting business in this state should be proud of a California label.
But the legislature could do a lot more to encourage business.
Sure, slogans are fun and can have some impact. They can also backfire. People of a certain age remember President Gerald Ford’s “WIN” campaign, Whip Inflation Now, which was heaped with criticism.
Yet, the name CALIFORNIA has a positive cache. I have seen a wide variety of t-shirts lately using the state’s name. In fact, the Zazzle.com website claims to have 34,737 unique t-shirts bearing some connection to California. I only went through 15 of the reported 579 pages of t-shirts and they included a Jerry Brown for Governor in 2010 and a Reagan-Bush ’84 t-shirt, but you get the idea … California connection.
Even if California carries a good vibe and a Made in California label would be a nice thing to have, more must be done to revive the state’s economy.
Small Business California released its annual survey a month ago on how small business owners view the state’s business climate. Almost 60% of the small business respondents said the state is still headed in the wrong direction and a little more than 60% said that the state’s business climate was Poor or Very Poor. About 70% said the business climate for small business in particular was Poor or Very Poor.
Small business is an important job creator yet respondents to the Small Business California survey were not positive about creating more jobs. Over 68% reported they did not plan to hire in the next six months, while about twice as many businesses in the survey (388) reported decreasing employment than increased employment (201) in the last year. Not encouraging signs for the state’s economy.
While the economy was the top concern for these small business owners, they also expressed high concern about too much regulation, the cost of health insurance, the quality of public education and reducing state taxes.
If the legislature dedicated itself to fixing some of these issues, it would do more to improve California’s business climate than a Made in California label.