Getting Back to Work: Permitting and Licensing

By Anastasia Boden and Stephen Slivinski

When jobs are scarce, many people turn to entrepreneurship and self-employment as a means of earning a living. A regulatory environment friendly to business creation and job growth will be central to local economic recovery for most cities.

Unfortunately, well-intentioned and often overlapping laws frequently stifle people from entering a new trade. Although many of these laws appear independently justifiable, in practice they can create a regulatory thicket that prevents people from pursuing legitimate businesses without improving public health or safety. There is no better time to support entrepreneurs. In addition to considering withholding fines for good-faith violations of the law and temporarily refraining from enacting any new regulations absent some compelling public health or safety rationale, cities can use the following three strategies to foster business growth and economic resiliency.

Permitting and Licensing section is pages 20–27 of the Full Report.

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