Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Tennessee Passes Bill to Allow In-Home Beauty Services

Press Release, Nashville, Tenn., April  25, 2018 —Late yesterday afternoon, the Tennessee a bill to allow in-home beauty services across Tennessee.  State Senator Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, State Representative Sam Whitson, R-Franklin, and State Representative Jason Powell, D-Nashville, were the primary sponsors of the bill.  Once signed by Governor Haslam, the reform will allow Tennesseans to purchase beauty services in the privacy of their own homes and businesses.
General Assembly completed the final step in passing

The bill follows The Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners’s 2016 decision to issue a cease-and-desist letter and file a formal complaint against Belle—a popular Nashville-based technology company that provides on-demand health and beauty services—for bringing “highly disturbing” competition into Tennessee’s beauty industry.  The Board initially alleged that Belle was violating the state’s cosmetology laws, but withdrew its complaint after Belle formally contested the Board’s allegations.  The Board’s decision to withdraw its complaint was covered widely in local, state, and national media, including ForbesYahooReason, the Nashville Business Journal, the Memphis Commercial Appeal, and the Daily Signal, among others.

“With the passing of this bill, Tennesseans will now have the right to enjoy concierge cosmetology services just like many other Americans,” said Armand Lauzon, CEO of Belle.  “Beyond that, it grants tens of thousands of cosmetologists access to the American dream by legalizing entrepreneurship in the industry. The General Assembly should be very proud of this needed reform.”
“Passage of this bill represents another step in our state to remove barriers that interfere with Tennesseans achieving the American Dream,” added Senator Dickerson.

The reform passed unanimously in the Tennessee State Senate, and it succeeded by a margin of 81-6 in the Tennessee House. Along with the bill’s sponsors, Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, was instrumental in its passage.  “I was proud to support this legislation repealing a burdensome regulation. Entrepreneurs across the state will now be able to provide convenient services to Tennesseans, and create prosperity for themselves and their families,” said Speaker Harwell.

“In 2016, the Tennessee Board of Cosmetology unlawfully attempted to shut down one of Nashville’s most exciting new tech companies for the sole purpose of protecting an outdated industry competitor from competition,” said Daniel Horwitz, Belle’s attorney and lobbyist.  “This important reform ensures that the Board of Cosmetology will be prevented from engaging in such lawless behavior ever again.”

Rod Williams' comment: Congratulation to Daniel Horwitz, Belle, and all those involved in this fight. It is worth keeping in mind that often the biggest enemy of free enterprise are not socialist but those engaged in commerce who want to use the power of government to protect themselves from competition. The way the Belle service works is like this. If, for example, a women is preparing for a wedding or some special occasion and wants a make-up artist to come to her home and make her beautiful, she could use the Belle app to connect to a make-up artist. Much the way Airbnb or Uber works, Belle simply connects the person wanting the service with those wanting to provide the service. Licensed cosmetologist complained and the Board of Cosmetology tried to put Belle out of business.

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