Small Business–Hammered Again!

Well, our all-knowing Congress appears to be doing it again—hunting mice with a cannon.

Somehow, I missed all the prior controversy over a new law about to take effect: the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). But then, the mainstream media has barely mentioned it.

It seems that this act threatens to drive out of business tens of thousands of small makers of children’s products (not just toys—it appears that zippers and snaps are now considered “lethal”). Moreover, any thrift shop that sells secondhand children’s products (including clothes) will be put at risk for liability.

I am still trying to get up to speed on the elements of this new law, but attorneys are referring to February 10, 2009 as “bankruptcy day”—the day the new law takes effect. Apparently, that is when all manufacturers must “freeze” inventories of children’s products, and components of children’s products, until they can be modified (or destroyed) to comply with CPSIA. Many small businesses in this industry will not be able to afford such a drastic requirement. This could impact as many as 50,000 small businesses…not to mention the impact on retail stores and thrift shops.

It seems like Congress, in its infinite wisdom, will be putting people out of work faster than their stimulus plan can create new jobs. But then, I guess most members of Congress believe it is their duty to protect us from ourselves.

For more information on CPSIA, check out CPSIA Chronicles, February 6.

FLASH: There has been a partial and ineffective reprieve (check out the Chronicles). What’s going on in Washington makes the Keystone Cops look organized.

3 thoughts on “Small Business–Hammered Again!”

  1. “Well, our all-knowing Congress appears to be doing it again—hunting mice with a cannon.”

    Loved this opening! I laughed out loud! I was also not aware of CPSI. How do we even begin to address such things? Congress acts on the behest of whom? We really need to become an activist nation again. But not in the sense of occasional activisism but ongoing active participation. I’m afraid we are terribly distracted by trivial things and leave others to make many decisions for us. Such is true in a great many areas and arenas.

    Judith Ellis’s last blog post..Being Kid Rock

  2. Perhaps our economic crisis is a wake-up call–we can no longer leave decisions that directly affect us, to people we rarely see and never talk to. My hope is that the involvement by the younger generation in the past election will continue, and that they will become an activist generation that makes our lawmakers take notice.

    At the same time, I plead guilty to not being as involved as I should be in what lawmakers are up to. You are so right when you say we are distracted by trivial things.

    Thank you for your comment Judith, your thinking is greatly appreciated.

    Bob Foster’s last blog post..Hope in the Midst of Chaos

  3. “Perhaps our economic crisis is a wake-up call–we can no longer leave decisions that directly affect us, to people we rarely see and never talk to.”

    I love this.

    In email exchanges with a respected former CEO, mutual fund founder and brilliant author, he informs me that as he speaks throughout the country that young people really get it; his hope in the younger generation is great. For someone who has seen and experienced so much, I felt incredibly heartened.

    Judith Ellis’s last blog post..Being Kid Rock

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