The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 could, come February 10, send hundreds of thousands of small businesses who make boutique items for children, out of business. Yes, that includes my wife’s business as well. www.sugarsweetbowtique.com
Before everyone accuses me of mass histeria, it is important to understand that these threats are very real. My wife and I know all too well. We have spent the last couple days scrounging for loopholes that just aren’t there. And if we find a loophole and we are found in court to be wrong? Thousands in fines and up to 5 years in jail is enough to make anyone squirm. Yet, no major conservatives seem to care, after all, we have more important things to blog about, like the incoming RNC chairman. Right now, for my family, I could care less.
For those who feel that congress will care? Let’s just say every one of them, except Rep. Ron Paul, voted for the measure. So, members of the right better be issuing mea culpas and coming to our defense or else why should any small business owner feel that the Republican party or conservatives actually care about them. My wife make’s hairbows. The ribbon is lead free, but that isn’t good enough come February 10. We will have to prove that it is lead free. To be compliant, we not only have to test the hundreds of spools of ribbon individually, but also as a collective bow. Since we don’t have the purchasing power to buy in extreme bulk, each shipment of ribbon has to be tested as well. Even if the ribbon companies provided certification of lead free (which they aren’t required to and most likely will not) we still have to test each bow type. The cost for us? At the low end $400 (assuming the manufacturers give us cert.) the high end $1200 per bow! We sell bows for $4-8. You can see the problem. A friend of ours who sells doll clothes…done. Another who sells cloth diapers…done. A children’s book store in Wisconsin to a homeschooling kit company…done. This is not hysteria, in fact, the people who are claiming that life will go on as usual don’t have my mortgage or our dreams.
I AM NOT ASKING FOR A BAIL OUT. In fact, I don’t want a darned thing. I just want to be able to have my wife operate her business like she has for the last year.
In fairness, the CPSIA was designed to prevent the Mattels of the world from getting lead based toys from China. Great! But why do we have to prove the lead free thing? In fact, the Mattels of the world are so big they are the only ones who can afford this. While their competition goes out of business. Were we trying to help or hurt Mattel, the big bad corporation? Liberal laws, no matter how good natured lead to corporate empoyerment and small business hell. The fact that the “conservatives” in congress voted for the thing as well only makes it more difficult a pill to swallow. #CPSIA on twitter to join the conversation. This needs to be a conservative conversation! If not? They better not ask me for a DIME in 2009 and beyond…period. Why? I won’t have the dime to give them, and hopefully…I will find a dime to feed my kids.