June 20, 2017 Print

Tammy Pritchard, hair stylist who won her case with the Beacon Center of Tennessee.

Tennesseans celebrate as the Beacon Center of Tennessee gets another win under its belt. The Beacon Center, a Nashville-based Atlas Network partner, continues its lawsuit-winning streak by shutting down two overly bureaucratic licensure programs. These victories sound a sigh of relief for independent contractors, free-market enthusiasts, and entrepreneurs.

In an article, the Beacon Center introduced Tammy Pritchard, the defendant in the highly publicized case where the team challenged state law requiring a license to shampoo hair. Thanks to the work of the Beacon Center, Governor Bill Haslam and the state legislature eliminated this mandate. The second lawsuit concerned Martha Stowe and Laurie Wheeler, who, with the help of the Beacon Center, were able to challenge the state veterinarian board’s rule requiring a license to massage animals, ending in a temporary repeal of that regulation.

“I truly appreciate everything the Beacon Center has done for me,” said Stowe. “When it felt like all hope was lost, the Beacon Center came in and took on my case for free so that I could continue doing what I love for a living, massaging horses. I am forever grateful and hope that they will help more people like me in the future.”

When small business owners have to jump through hoops to operate, the fees involved and the overly bureaucratic licensing process is often a barrier to entry. A free market runs on entrepreneurs being able to read market signals and sell their service at a reasonable price. Without the help of the Beacon Center, Tammy Pritchard, Martha Stowe, and Laurie Wheeler would be forced to factor in those costs to their pricing, thus passing the cost to the consumer.

The first in this series of wins came from their work to deregulate home-sharing. On the horizon, the Beacon Center is working to challenge Nashville’s affordable housing mandate, and is aiming for a fourth win under its belt.

“We will certainly continue to fight on the occupational licensing and sharing economy fronts, and in other areas where government tramples on Tennesseans’ economic liberty and property rights,” said Beacon Center Director of Development Sam Cosby.