It's a sign that the regulatory burdens facing small businesses have gotten genuinely excessive when even the New York Times news department — and even the New York Times news department's non-profit, San Francisco Bay Area-based content partner — finds them newsworthy. The paper today features a San Francisco ice cream shop that took two years to get permission from the city to open:
Ms. Pries said she had to endure months of runaround and pay a lawyer to determine whether her location (a former grocery, vacant for years) was eligible to become a restaurant. There were permit fees of $20,000; a demand that she create a detailed map of all existing area businesses (the city didn't have one); and an $11,000 charge just to turn on the water.
Most of the obstacles seem to be locally imposed, a reminder that all the talk by Republican presidential candidates about devolving power to state and local governments from the federal level doesn't always translate into improvement for entrepreneurs.