Carnahan Promises to Save Local Businesses
Tom Baer started more than six local small businesses.
"That seems to be the talent that I have," Baer says.
Baer owns Cherry Street Artisan. He says national entrepreneurs who start chain businesses have corporate headquarters to complete the start up paperwork, but that's not so with small businesses.
"Those of us who start a business from scratch, we do all of that ourselves. And we depend on a lot of people sharing information with us," Baer says.
So Baer joined a group of randomly selected Columbia small business owners to tell Carnahan 'nobody knows the trouble I'm in.'
"Things like where do I send this form, they're not that easy to find," one business owner says.
New company owners have to fill out paperwork with several branches of government. They say it's confusing and they have to become instant business experts. One owner didn't pay a tax he didn't know existed.
"I was totally unaware of it. And then I got a letter saying I need to pay this. And not only did I need to pay it, it was late and now I had a penalty," Scott Cristal says.
"This has been terrific, we've had a very free-flowing discussion about these issues and ideas to make it more efficient and cost less to do your annual and corporate filings," Carnahan says.
Carnahan says she will take the suggestions to Missouri's legislature to try to enact statutes that can make business life easier for small, locally owned companies.
"Small businesses here in the community. We all work with each other. We all help each other," Baer says.
Camaraderie and ideas he hopes will make business-owning easier.
Today's roundtable discussion was the first of its kind. Carnahan says she will conduct events like this across the state.