Indie Operator Tells Congress of Too Many Regs

Todos Supermarket's Carlos Castro testifying before Congress

In testimony on behalf of the National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade organization representing the independent supermarket sector, Carlos Castro, president of Woodbridge, Va.-based Todos Supermarket, spoke of the overwhelming number of regulations that keep small businesses from growing.

During the Sept. 7 hearing, “Examining the Small Business Labor Market,” held by the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access, Castro explained how a mounting number of regulations forces an independent supermarket to reallocate resources once earmarked for store improvements, additional staff and expanded offerings. The average independent grocer spends between $40,000-50,000 yearly on regulatory compliance, according an NGA member survey, while operating on a 1 percent to 2 percent profit margin.

“Costly regulations often take up too much of our time and resources, and pose as a serious barrier to hiring new talent,” Castro noted in his written testimony (see attached file below).

“At Todos, we often say, ‘If you have a good attitude and work hard, there is no limit to how high you can rise’; with business, it should be the same,” added Castro. “I would ask our elected representatives to continue looking for opportunities to unshackle businesses from their heavy regulatory burden, and let businesses like mine see how high we can go.”

“Locally owned independent supermarkets should be focusing on the customers they serve and growing their business, not worrying about the next regulation coming from Washington,” said Peter J. Larkin, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based NGA. “With grocers operating in such a fiercely competitive marketplace, it’s crucial that Congress help – not handcuff – small businesses like Todos Supermarket.”

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