A group of small business manufacturers came together in Sunland recently to discuss the problems associated with doing business in California, but what was most discouraging was the sentiment expressed by the business owners who told me they would not come to the meeting. Among the comments: “We do not want another target on our back;” “We do not want any trouble with the State.” It is frightening and disappointing that many companies are just too afraid to voice their concerns about doing business in California fearing repercussions from the state.

How is it even possible that business owners, CEO’s and managers are afraid of our government? What happened to the government that was for the people and by the people? Apparently, this is not the case in California. 

A chief concern raised at the meeting was the problem of Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) lawsuits. Of the attending manufacturers over 65% were hit with a PAGA lawsuit. They do not want to get hit with another.

Yet, when businesses reach out to elected officials for help, it is hard to find a sympathetic ear.

How can our Assemblymen or our Mayor help us if they will not even take the time to return a phone call? Do they even understand the pressures facing businesses in California? If the government runs out of money it can just simply raise taxes, while small to medium size businesses just go out of business.

Lawmakers have no interest in even listening to us. Our businesses are just not as attractive as some so no one wants to pay attention to us. A large computer company located in Silicon Valley employs over a million employees overseas. They have over $250 billion in cash alone and how much of that is reinvested in California jobs? How much tax does that company pay in California?

Our companies combined likely pay two to three times the tax rate they pay yearly and yet no one wants to hear what we have to say.

Small to medium size businesses need to have a voice and our legislators need to start listening.

We are forming a group of companies and will start a grass roots effort to educate Sacramento on how their 1,039 page Labor Law Digest has turned into nothing more than a tool for the attorneys to attack companies like us.

We are not sure why California government thinks they need to pass over 900 new laws a year. Is their some type of quota that we are not aware of?

Our group will meet again, and we will have more attendees next time. It would be great to see some of our local politicians at our next event.