Kingsport Times-News: Shipley hosts small business roundtable

Financial reform’s impact was one concern among many aired at the event.

Posted on October 7, 2010

 KINGSPORT — Federal financial reform legislation signed into law last July “will make credit harder to get on Main Street,” U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander warned during a small business roundtable discussion held Wednesday at the Kingsport Town C e n t e r.

    “There will be a big new consumer protection agency and a whole lot of rules. ... Banks have money. ... They don’t have demand in many cases,” the Tennessee Republican said at the event, held at the office of state Rep. Tony Shipley, R-Kingsport.  

    Financial reform’s impact was one concern among many aired at the event.

    Real estate appraiser Randy Thomas complained the 2009-enacted Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) — set up to curb inaccurate appraisals — has hurt the real estate industry.

    Thomas said that under HVCC he was asked to do an appraisal in a Tennessee county he knew nothing about.

    “Appraisers go out and they have no idea where they are going,” Thomas said.

    In-home care business owner M.D. McCue told the group that his company’s future will depend on what happens with the nation’s health care system under health care reform.

    U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-1st, warned health care reform will take $500 billion out of Medicare while adding 35 million new enrollees to the program.

    “Can you say ‘rationing of health care’ because that’s what is going to happen,” Roe said.

    Richard Venable, head of the NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership, said the region nonetheless is prepared for job growth.

    Venable reported his recent Germany trip to recruit new business ended up with much exposure to solar manufacturers.

    “We know green energy is where the future is,” Venable said.

    Venable also advised Alexander and Roe that the region’s Early Action Compact, an agreement with the federal government to be in attainment with ozone standards, has run out.

    “That has an immediate impact on Kingsport. And houses built. And patients served,” Shipley said of the agreement’s impact.

    At the event’s outset, Alexander said the best thing for Congress to do now for small business is not raise taxes.

    “Because raising taxes on anybody in the middle of a recession is not a good way to create jobs,” Alexander said.

    Roe said Congress still has little understanding of how business works.

    “They think inside the (Washington) beltway that capital is a federal grant — not something where you go down to the bank and borrow money,” Roe explained.

    Shipley, a retired Air Force officer, also advised international problems could hurt business locally.

    “I suggest to you that any kind of nuclear conflict in the Middle East will drive energy prices to the point of being unreasonable. ... I want you to remember the two things that triggered the recession — the financial collapse and fuel prices at the pump over $4,” Shipley said.