Too Many Government Rules Clean out Small Companies

By Adler, Jonathan H. | Insight on the News, February 14, 1994 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Too Many Government Rules Clean out Small Companies


Adler, Jonathan H., Insight on the News


Stop by Capitol Hill's Lustre Cleaners after work on a typical weekday afternoon and the store likely is filled with congressional staffers and Washington careerists picking up and dropping off blouses, shirts and suits. While those responsible for the regulatory burdens imposed on small business are dependent upon the services that dry cleaners and laundries provide, few or any recognize that the cumbersome rules emanating from Congress are increasing prices and forcing many dry cleaners to shut their doors.

Consider the case of Yong Kyun Pak, a Korean immigrant who entered the dry cleaning business in 1985 and operates a store in Newport Beach, Calif. Pak works 13 to 14 hours a day, six days a week, and he spends many of his holidays performing maintenance on his machinery His wife and two pressers work in the store; the Pak children lend a hand when they can.

Regulatory compliance is a significant concern facing Pak. In 1993, his VIP Cleaners needed to replace its dry cleaning machine. As a result, Pak rents one for $1,300 a month - more than $15,000 per year. He could not sell his old machine because it no longer met regulatory requirements. In 1994, he expects to spend an additional $1,000 on wastewater-treatment equipment, and his annual process-waste disposal fees have increased by $1,200. He has to pay an accountant another $1,000 to help him with paperwork requirements - Pak's English is fairly good, but not good enough to fill out government forms - and he pays local fees to the fire department, the municipality and several other local agencies.

While many dry cleaners manage to keep their doors open in the face of escalating regulatory costs, many others have succumbed. Teasdale Fenton Cleaners in Cincinnati filed for bankruptcy last year, citing escalating regulatory costs as the straw that broke the camel's back. In the New York area, more dry cleaners have gone out of business during the past three years than during the 1980s, according to the Neighborhood Cleaners Association.

Because of their size, dry cleaners and other small businesses are particularly vulnerable to the pecuniary impact of regulations. The typical dry cleaning outlet is a small, family-owned business that grosses an average of $200,000 a year, with profits in the neighborhood of $10,000. On average, each dry cleaner employs five people.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Too Many Government Rules Clean out Small Companies
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?