The state of the union and the state of handmade

Last night, like many of you, I watched our President deliver his “State of the Union” address. I’ll leave off commentary for most of it (even if my sarcastic side couldn’t help but burst out in laughter at the 80% of energy being renewable by 2035 thing) but one thing that did really pique my interest was his suggestion that we reduce some regulations and codes to make life easier for the small businessperson. Reductions in corporate taxes, reduction of the healthcare regulations regarding 1099’s for money spent, eliminating loopholes, credits for new hires, capital gains… it all starts swimming after a while, but the promise of simplification is a beautiful one.
That said, Mr President, here is one thing you could influence that would help hundreds of VERY small businesses immediately. These small businesses make some of the most important products for the future of our country, in our country, employing other people right here at home.

save handmade toys!!
(photo by flickr user hillarylang -wee wonderfuls)

Yes, I’m talking about the CPSIA again, and next month ends a temporary stay of enforcement put into place when it became clear how UNclear the regulations were. Ending this stay will effectively be killing some of the very entrepreneurs you were waxing so poetically about in your speech, because the regulations are still confusing and contradictory, the testing requirements are not clear, and despite repeated requests for clarification or another stay of enforcement, these mom and pop shops have gotten neither.
Mr President, if you want to do something for the real entrepreneurs in this country, we need an actual vote and another stay of enforcement until these problems can be addressed. One is currently scheduled for January 31st 2011, and your words on this issue could mean the difference between bankruptcy and solvency for many small businesses, as well as the difference in what sort of toys YOUR grandchildren will be allowed to play with.

(if you want to send your own letter to the people with the power to solve this problem, there’s a great one here.)


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