Nashville, Tenn. – February 8, 2017 — State Senator Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, and State Representative Sam Whitson, R-Franklin, introduced legislation today that would allow Tennesseans to purchase cosmetology services in the privacy of their own homes.
The reform comes after The Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners filed a complaint last year against Belle, a popular Nashville-based technology company that provides on-demand health and beauty services. 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 Forbes, Yahoo, Reason, the Nashville Business Journal and the Memphis Commercial Appeal, among others.
“As we move forward into the 21st century, we must update state rules and regulations to reflect the realities of the 21st century economy,” said Senator Dickerson. “This bill will remove barriers that are denying Tennesseans the opportunity to develop and grow in their chosen profession. By removing these impediments, we allow the entrepreneurial spirit of Tennesseans to flourish, increase freedom and enhance choice for our state’s consumers.”
“The regulatory structure of our state must be thoughtfully crafted in such a manner as to allow for constant innovation and facilitate consistent growth in the new economy,” added State Representative John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville, an early supporter of the reform. “Tennessee must strive to attract entrepreneurial talent and new jobs.”
“Last fall, 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attempted to shut down one of Nashville’s most exciting new tech companies for the sole purpose of protecting an out-of-date industry competitor from competition,” said Daniel Horwitz, Belle’s attorney. “This bill ensures that the Board will be prevented from engaging in such lawless behavior ever again.”
“The repeal of these outdated regulations means beauty professionals can freelance in a way that they see fit, and whether that’s with us or by themselves, I believe everyone has that right,” said Armand Lauzon, CEO of Belle. “This new legislation paves the way for further innovations and economic growth in Tennessee, and perhaps most importantly, it will allow consumers to have the right to make the choices they deserve.”
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