Arizona says “Neigh” to Small Businesses
By Audrey Williams
If two ride a horse, one must ride behind. But, when the riders are government and small businesses, it’s always the latter who should ride front.
Celeste Kelly, Grace Granatelli and Stacey Kollman discovered a profitable niche in the animal therapy market when they found they could turn their passions into successful small businesses. They spent hundred of hours learning animal massage techniques, earned private certification and began their respective animal therapy ventures. Today, they have successful businesses and loyal clients.
However, according the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board, Celeste, Grace, and Stacey are criminals facing jail time. A recent Arizona regulation requires these hardworking entrepreneurs to give up their professions, or pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to become licensed veterinarians (an education that excludes massage therapy training). If they do neither, it’s off to jail.
Horse massage is not the only occupation facing unnecessarily burdensome restrictions in Arizona. According to an Institute for Justice study, the state has the heaviest regulations for occupational licensing in all 50 states. Overregulation, such as this, crushes small businesses, disrupts growth and stifles competition.
Represented by the Institute for Justice, the horse massage therapists in Arizona have filed a major lawsuit to secure the rights, livelihoods, and reputations of small business owners so they may continue to contribute to, and strengthen, our economy.