Proof of government fail – Joni Painter

By:  Diane Benjamin

During the discussion of business licenses alderman Joni Painter asked Economic Development guy Austin Grammer about the “One Stop Shop”.  That was supposedly a program in development for more than two years to make it easy for investors to start businesses in Bloomington.

Every Wednesday a large group of bureaucrats meet, investors are invited to make an appointment to meet with them – of course submitting a plan first.  Austin rattled off all the departments who attend.  (How many of these people have been told they aren’t the “right fit”?)

Painter then goes on to state she knows two people who wanted to open businesses but were unable to navigate the bureaucracy.  She asked if the $50 business registration fee would be used to improve on-line information and fee payments which would make meeting with anyone irrelevant.  Austin first claims that is part of it, then later claims the business license fee is totally separate from the One Stop Shop.

The economy prospers when government isn’t in the way.  Obviously basic economics is way above Austin Grammer, and his bosses.

Good job Joni, you proved Bloomington is on the wrong track.  Nothing is going to change however because this mindset is deeply embedded.

Just hit play:


8 thoughts on “Proof of government fail – Joni Painter

  1. It appears they will always use “life safety” and “tracking data” as a reason to implement a fee. The “WE feel this is useful, so we’ll charge YOU to do it.” It’s the same reason they use the backs of taxpayers in Bloomington to do the economic development they want and not necessarily what is best for the taxpayers.

  2. Generally, the business owners that meet with government only do so if they (a) want a handout (e.g. Green Top, Rivian) or (b) are compelled to by force (e.g. businesses requiring municipal permits like restaurants). Successful business owners are successful because they focus on working hard and providing products/services people want, need, and desire not because they went through a government business gatekeeper or program. In fact, all government does is slow down economic development. Austin is Tari’s errand boy. He doesn’t know anything about basic economics or business; he just follows orders and gets the elitists at the Chamber and EDC to suck up to him. If the clowns at the Chamber and EDC really cared about business, they would oppose this fee loudly and work to remove or at least consolidate regulatory impediments and attack the gatekeeping mentality of the “right fit”. But alas, that might be mean fewer local government employees. Tari and his pals can’t allow that to happen.

  3. Seems to me that the first challenge is WHY. Perhaps Bloomington should first have a compelling answer as to WHY an investor/entrepreneur would even choose Bloomington over another location? What does Bloomington offer to maximize their investment, help them grow and succeed, contribute to lifestyle, and to justify ongoing city/county/state expenses i.e. taxes? Seems that any notion of creating another layer to “simplify” is counterintuitive. To remove friction and go faster one seeks less not more.

  4. Joni is all for this add on tax, she lead the charge and has presented many more crazy tax ideas, she must go to clean the swamp.

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