Freshman lawmaker Emory Dunahoo is championing a new effort by Georgia lawmakers to seek out ideas from business owners on how government can get out of the way of their businesses' growth.
Each week, members of a newly created committee in the state House of Representatives are spending hours listening to business owners in an initiative dubbed "Red Tape Watch." The lawmakers say they will use the information they gather in an effort to revise the state's regulations on small businesses.
The committee, called the Special Committee on Small Business Development and Job Creation, was borne by Speaker David Ralston, a Blue Ridge Republican, last year.
Lawmakers cite studies they say show small employers "consistently rank government requirements," including the costs of complying with regulations, as a significant problem in furthering their businesses, according to a legislative news release.
The committee meets again Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the Coverdell Legislative office building, and weekly throughout the legislative session.
Dunahoo, who often mentioned the burden of government regulations on the growth of small business during his campaign last year, is calling on and actively recruiting Hall County business owners to take part.
Dunahoo said he is spending nearly a half-hour each day calling people, asking them to submit their ideas to the committee.
"I'm eating it up," Dunahoo said. "I'm telling people this is their opportunity to go and have (lawmakers) listen with open ears."
Whether or not they can physically attend the hearings, interested business owners can voice their concerns online.