There are various note cards containing quotes from a collection of philosophers sat around my house. Today the one on my fridge caught my attention from Socrates that reads, “The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

Identifying the things that are holding us back so we can set that free and move on to new goals is how we not only survive, but how we thrive. While I had my boutique in Downtown Hanford I was witness to change and to stagnation from various entities.

For example, when I first opened I did what most businesses typically do and joined the local Chamber of Commerce. When it came time to renew my annual membership I decided instead to become a member of Lemoore’s Chamber of Commerce. They had started operating more as a Regional Chamber — something many small counties around the country have begun doing to consolidate resources for a bigger impact — and they already had multiple Hanford businesses as members.

Immediately I saw a big difference in how my business was advertised and I couldn’t have been more pleased. Today they have about 100 Hanford businesses as members and during this unprecedented time of COVID they have remained a great resource of information, inspiration, and an advocate for the businesses despite experiencing many of the same hardships any other business has incurred.

This is largely due to the fact they are constantly evolving and adapting as the needs of businesses and the community shift. How lucky are our local leaders to have such a valuable resource at their disposal to help navigate these turbulent times?

A lot of transformations will need to happen in the coming months and our towns must be willing to let go of the old and make way for the new. As businesses must evolve so must local municipalities. Strict regulations and restrictive zoning must become things of the past and it’s prudent our local leaders come to realize how much of an illusion of safety and control many of these things really are. In truth, zoning can be bought and changed and for those without the means to influence zoning modifications then an uphill battle ensues.

Ever heard of a “nail house”? These are houses, like in the movie “Up,” that find themselves in the middle of massive redevelopment efforts after zoning changes around them were made against their will.

A recent example of an uphill battle that’s been taking place for over 18 months now is Hanford’s debate over the details of creating a food truck ordinance. Something that should be easy and straightforward has been dragged out due to an attempt to mitigate all possible issues they feel could arise from allowing for food trucks.

Here’s but one example of the powers that be sticking to old habits of trying to protect businesses from competition while they shoot themselves in the foot by the hamstringing of growth and transformation. With or without food trucks restaurants have still come and gone in our town. What’s more is food trucks serve as a small business incubator for future brick and mortar locations. We’ve also seen them add to the value of pre-existing businesses when the closest restaurant is blocks away.

It is no more the purview of the government to try to protect businesses from competition as it is to thwart a new would-be business owner in their pursuit of self employment. And it certainly doesn’t help our businesses now as they must acclimate to current conditions and even possibly scale back their operations to the point of establishing themselves as a food truck to survive.

Up and down the state there were certain restrictions on businesses that were temporarily lifted to help them survive such as allowing for cocktails to-go from restaurants or locally where a microbrewery was suddenly required to serve food in order to be open despite that being previously forbidden.

Seems that the rules were arbitrary all along and did more to hinder people’s ability to succeed than anything else. At the end of the day we want our community to thrive.

Libertarians are very outspoken against having too many rules not for the sake of being rebellious contrarians, but because we recognize that most rules are more about control than they are about helping. The temporary release of restrictions proves just that, does it not?

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