Commerce Matters: Legislative impacts on Nevada's small businesses (Voices)

Ann Silver is CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce.

Ann Silver is CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce.

We can rest easier now that the 2021 regularly scheduled legislative session has concluded.

But the impact of new legislation will have some unintended consequences for our business community, and we need to pay attention to the drift of government encroachment on free enterprise.

While there is strong support among our elected officials to pass beneficial legislation for those in need, business owners put their lives into their jobs and provide employment for thousands and thousands of Nevadans.

Often, they must take out a second home mortgage, cut back on family expenses and devote countless hours to sustaining their operations and their employees. “Respect must be paid,” as Mrs. Loman says about her hard-working husband in Arthur Miller’s play, “The Death of a Salesman.”

Our legislators are decent and sincere public servants, and many own businesses or work as employees of privately-owned companies. Surely, they can empathize with the trials and tribulations of the average business owner who wants nothing more than to be sustainable and to retain productive employees who can learn new skills, maintain a work ethic and reap the benefits of employment.

No business owner wakes up determined to make employees miserable or to spend weeks recruiting for replacements.
Virtually every business owner knows the downside of poor morale, reduced productivity or gripes emanating from the break room.

The Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce will continue to advocate for its member businesses and organizations that employ over 100,000 residents and provide the goods and services we all rely upon.

Our mission is to see businesses thrive and grow, to see them expand and innovate, and to employ local residents who may become the business owners of the future.

Now our energies must turn to the consequences of various bills enacted by the 2021 Nevada Legislature, educate our members on new legal mandates and ensure compliance in the midst of businesses returning to a “new normal.”

Most of us will never find the courage or willpower needed to start or maintain our own businesses. Let’s continue to allow this group of brave entrepreneurs to make their own decisions and chart their own destinies.

If misguided, illegal or inequitable policies are occurring in workplaces, there are legal remedies and state and federal laws to address them.

As such, we’d rather not have our legislators tell entrepreneurs how to run their businesses.

“Respect must be paid.”

“Commerce Matters” is a monthly Voices column in the NNBW authored by Ann Silver, CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce. Reach her for comment at


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment