Small Business

HI Bill Would Force Business Buyers To Retain Employees

It should mandate profitability, too, to solve all problems

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HONOLULU — The Kauffman Foundation's Thumbtack.com gave Hawaii an F for small business friendliness, considering regulations, taxes, labor, hiring, licensing and zoning in determining the bad mark.

Numerous other organizations have deemed Hawaii as the most expensive — or worst — place to own a business.

Hawaii lawmakers, for the most part, have failed to take the warnings seriously, and they've introduced a number of controversial proposals that would place even more restrictions on business owners.

Most onerous is House Bill 642 — "successive owner" legislation — which would force people purchasing a business to retain all employees. In the current draft, the legislation designates the restriction on businesses with 100 or more employees. But as one lawmaker points out, that can easily be lowered this year or in future years to affect companies with considerably fewer employees.