As promised in my post about the Denver City Club talk Wednesday, here is your small business attorney’s commentary from Elizabeth Lewis!

The past couple of days the newspapers in Denver have been abuzz that the Colorado budget will have to be shrunk.  To think this is news is laughable – our country is in a recession and the state may have to cut its budget – imagine that!  The question is not whether the state needs to shrink the budget, but where it should cut the budget.

If you do not want to hear my soapbox rant, I completely understand.  However, as a small business attorney, I feel it is my duty to talk about what I think would help small businesses in Colorado.  If small businesses start to fail, my business crashes and I do not want that.  Therefore, I disagree with Gov. Ritter on several points.

Education.  Gov. Ritter said we have to make higher education affordable for everyone – students should be able to attend colleges like CU and CSU without a lot of cost.  I disagree.  Whether you go to CU or Metro (as I did) for undergrad, it is not the cost of the education that matters, but what you do with it.  In addition, if you think it needs to be affordable and pain free, then you have to learn some life lessons.  Whether you go to CU or Metro, college students need to understand that they may not be able to live a carefree life.  Working full-time to pay for your college education makes you thankful for it.  Having it handed to you by the State of Colorado because you “deserve” a college education does not.

Safety Nets.  State governments should not need safety nets as Gov. Ritter implied.  State governments should have been preparing for an economic downturn.  To believe that the economic boom was going to go on forever, and the ever-expanding coffer, is ridiculous.  The state government should have been saving money to help pay for services in the future when less money was being brought in.

Now for the areas that I agree on:

Infrastructure.  To compete in today’s economy, Americans must have internet.  Whether you are a retail store, a service provider, or a stay-at-home parent, internet plays a central role in your life (or should).  Without the infrastructure to provide the internet to people, our workers and students will be behind the curve.  We must make sure internet is universal.

Environment.  WARNING – In this area, my politics and business-sense get put on the back burner.  I am the type of person that recycles everything possible and grows stuff in my window seal.  I buy organic as much as possible and ride my bike to work from April to October.  That said, I think protecting our environment is necessary.  I typically frown on lots of government intervention, but think if we are going to have environmental regulations on US companies, we must either have the same standards for foreign companies or have tariffs to cover the harm that those companies are doing to the environment.

Those are my thoughts on the Denver City Club talk.  Do you disagree or agree?  Would love to hear what you think is the future of Colorado and Denver small businesses!