A group of legislators, who also own small businesses in the state, have unveiled their ideas on how to ease restrictions on such businesses.


A group of state representatives who run their own small businesses unveiled a legislative platform March 24 meant to ease regulatory and financial burdens for entrepreneurs.

The House Small Business Caucus, headed by Reps. Bryon Short, D-Highland Woods, and Dan Short, R-Seaford, outlined a package of bills crafted to address issues raised by businesspeople across Delaware.

“We’ve listened, traveled up and down the state for a number of meetings,” said Bryon Short, who owns a property management business. “We’ve developed some initiatives that we want to pursue.”

At the top of the caucus’ list are reforms to rules governing firms that contract or subcontract for work in Delaware.

One proposal would allow Delaware subcontractors working on local projects for out-of-state contractors to bring their legal grievances to Delaware courts.

Frequently, local subcontractors are forced to travel out-of-state to sue contractors in their home states.

“It’s costly and it can be burdensome to Delaware contractors,” Bryon Short said.

A second piece of legislation would make it more difficult for out-of-state contractors to obtain Delaware licenses if they come from states that do not offer licensing reciprocity.

For example, a plumber licensed in another state can be licensed in Delaware if he or she pays a fee. However, some states do not extend the same courtesy and require the contractor to take the same test as resident contractors.

The caucus’ plan would make contractors from states that do not offer licensing reciprocity take the Delaware test.

“It levels the playing field,” Dan Short said. “We have agreement from the trades and the independent contractors that it’s a good bill.”

Another bill drafted by the caucus would provide for less stringent regulatory oversight for small businesses.

Using model language from the Small Business Association, a national lobbying group, the bill would carve out special exceptions for small businesses in terms of state reporting requirements, performance standards and other regulatory hurdles.

Dan Short said the bill also would require state agencies to provide an analysis of what financial effects their regulatory and administrative requirements could have on small business.

Other small-business friendly proposals put forward by the caucus include bills designed to make healthcare more affordable for companies with small staffs and legislation endorsing more state-funded loans and grants to budding local firms.

Dan Short said the bills are being circulated among the rest of the General Assembly for cosponsorship and should be formally introduced by the week of March 28.

Email Doug Denison at doug.denison@doverpost.com.