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Inflation on the rise, crime on the rise, and supply chain issues across the country.  These are all things that our country is having challenges with right now.  We don’t even have enough baby formula to feed babies.  A lot of blame could be placed but I was always taught to be proactive and if a problem presented itself to respond back with a solution.  I will say that we did not have these problems 2 years ago and I will leave it at that.

Iowa has been relatively insulated from some of these issues, but we are in a unique situation in Iowa where we produce food and have a potential to solve the supply chain issue except those regulations are preventing some of this.  So, the solution is simple, several legislators and me, along with several groups set out to create a solution that will at least help.

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Of all the supply chain issues, we as individuals can survive ok without goods such as metal, wood, or plastic what we can’t survive without is food and food-related goods.  Have you been to the store lately?  I am surprised every time I go to the store and see shelves that used to be packed to the top that are now empty or at the least half empty.

So, Rep. Skyler Wheeler, Rep. Phil Thompson and I pooled our thoughts and ideas and developed a bill that frees up the establishment home-based businesses and allows for greater food freedoms at home. In the Senate under the leadership of Senator Jason Schultz the bill was passed and sent to the Governor for her signature.

In Iowa home-based businesses were under pressure in some counties with needless regulation and rules.  This was stifling the growth of entrepreneurs who want to start their own business and to help solve the supply chain issue.  Can you imagine if some of the regulations existed in the past, we may not have Microsoft, Harley Davidson, Apple Computers, Subway, Google, Amazon, Nike, Hewlett Packard, Mattel Toys, Disney, LinkedIn, Facebook, and many others.  Each of these businesses were started as a home-based business.

In addition, the addition of home-based businesses and the cottage food industry helps the new business owner as well as individuals who are buying products and services these home-based businesses provide.  Cottage foods are those that are shelf stable such as breads, candies, honey, jams, fruit pies, and other such product.  By having these things produced locally with local produce and products it will provide a value-added aspect to our food but also give the consumer another alternative.  It’s a win win situation that I think many people will be interested in enjoying.

In Minnesota when they did a similar law there were 3,000 new businesses created in the first year.  Many of these businesses are not the full-time occupation for the business owner but it is something they love to do and something to provide additional income for the family of the business owner.

I am excited that this food freedom and home-based business bill was passed through the Iowa House and Senate and now sits on the Governor’s desk for her signature.  This is a major move forward for entrepreneurs who wish to better their life with something they love to do.  Many other advantages to a home-based business exist, from tax advantages to the idea that you don’t need to be worried about commuting during rush hour traffic.

This law, once signed by the Governor, has a potential to affect and bring positive impact to every community in Iowa.  I can’t wait to see our new local cottage food business or new service home based business pop up in our community.  Iowa will become a better place because of this and it is a positive solution to a bad problem.

Author: John Wills

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