In September of 2014, Gov. Robert Bentley created the Small Business Commission (Executive Order #47) to advise him on policies related to small business. The goal is to remove obstacles to the progress of small business in the state.
“Small businesses are the engines of job growth and an integral part of the framework that makes up the American economic system,” Gov. Bentley said. “Alabama’s continued economic progress depends on the prosperity of our small businesses. The creation of the Alabama Small Business Commission will encourage innovation, discuss issues critical to economic growth of small business and promote policies to assist new business start-ups and expansion of existing businesses.”
The commission is made up of Alabama-based small and independent business owners who serve two-year terms with the option of a two-year reappointment. The commission defines small businesses as an organization with 50 or fewer employees. The Alabama Small Business Advisory Committee will assist the commission by providing technical and informational resources to the commission. At the end of each calendar year beginning in December of 2015, the commission will present an annual report to the governor.
The Alabama Retail Association has one appointment to the commission. Our appointee is Greg Gregerson (pictured), president and chief executive officer of Gregerson’s Foods, an Alabama Retail member since 1976.
Several other members of the commission also are Alabama Retail members, including Jheovanny Gomez, co-owner of the Jalapenos Mexican Grill restaurants; Lee R. Henderson, owner of Which Wich sandwich franchises in Tuscaloosa; Donna Matthews Kerr, owner of Robbie’s of Fayette; and Sen. Paul Sanford, R-Huntsville, who with his wife, Danielle, operates Little Paul’s Barbecue in downtown Huntsville.
Besides tackling centralization of business property tax filing, the commission has already launched a free online resource for those looking to start small businesses in Alabama. Atlas Alabama provides consolidated access for basic information on doing business in Alabama including details on licenses, taxes, loans, funding sources and insurance. The site also features a comprehensive list of national and state resource partners that exist to assist small business owners.