News Release: New Video Highlights Nebraska’s Barriers to Entrepreneurs, Growing Jobs and Industries
New Video Highlights Nebraska’s Barriers to Entrepreneurs, Growing Jobs and Industries
OMAHA, NE (June 1, 2016) – The Platte Institute for Economic Research is releasing a new short documentary about the barriers of government red tape that stood in the way of two Nebraska small business people, and how the Platte Institute is taking action to help these entrepreneurs fight back.
The video features Brandy McMorris, of North Omaha, who helped change a state law that was making Nebraska one of hardest states in the country for becoming a natural hair braider; and Luke French, of Malcolm, whose food truck was closed after he was unable to persuade the City of Lincoln to permit food trucks in public parking spaces.
The video highlights the Platte Institute’s new mission of “Removing Barriers,” which seeks to leverage the Institute’s research to support public policies that enhance economic growth and opportunity in the state. The Platte Institute’s core research areas include tax policy, government spending, labor and regulation, and education.
“People may ask why we care about hair braiding and food trucks at the Platte Institute,” said Jim Vokal, CEO of the Platte Institute. “For us, it doesn’t matter if you’re a large corporation or a small entrepreneur; we try to advance policies that remove barriers to growth and opportunity and put the Good Life within reach for more Nebraskans,” said Vokal.
Though unemployment in Nebraska is low, the state lags behind the national average in the creation of new jobs and population growth, which are both important indicators for overall economic growth and the alleviation of Nebraska’s harmful tax burden.
Occupational licensing and regulation pose major barriers to entrepreneurs like Brandy and Luke, who can offer Nebraskans more jobs, new services, lower prices, and additional tax revenues. A recent study by the Heritage Foundation found Nebraska’s current licensing system can increase costs for the average household up to $942 a year, and an upcoming Platte Institute study will quantify the substantial cost of regulations in the state.
In addition to state law, local economic policies and lobbying from established businesses can prevent the growth of new enterprises. While Omaha’s more welcoming parking rules are helping the food truck scene grow much faster than in Lincoln, some brick and mortar restaurants in the state’s largest city hope that parking regulations on food trucks similar to Lincoln’s will be imposed on their competition.
The Platte Institute will continue its state and local advocacy efforts to provide more choices and opportunities to Nebraskans, as it has in supporting reforms to allow ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft in Nebraska, protecting Direct Primary Care health care agreements, and advocating for freelance workers to have more work options through online contracting platforms.
“This is an important time for Nebraska to have a principled voice for innovators, taxpayers, and families who don’t feel represented in government today,” said Vokal. “Living the Good Life means different things to different people, but government and special interests should never be an obstacle to hardworking Nebraskans having the freedom to earn a living and pursue their dreams,” said Vokal.
The Platte Institute for Economic Research leverages its research to advance public policy solutions that remove the barriers to growth and opportunity in Nebraska. To learn more about our research, view our recent articles, or subscribe to our weekly #PlatteChat column.