There are some 13,000 home-based businesses in Davidson County, but there is now one less after a senior citizen was shut down by Metro Codes.
You might think something like teaching piano lessons at home is as American as apple pie, but in Metro it's illegal, and you could be subjected to fines and even imprisonment.
Pat Raynor had a fantastic, desperate idea when her husband died. She converted her Donelson garage into a hair salon and sought to make enough money to stay in her home and have a comfortable life.
It worked until someone called Metro Codes and informed the city she was running a home business.
While it's perfectly legal to run a home business in Nashville, you can't see customers.
So, Tuesday was the deadline for Raynor to either go out of business or face a daily fine. That left her without much of a choice.
"The state board of cosmetology gave me a license saying I could work in my home as a hairdresser, but Metro Codes says I can't. I have to take everything out. That's it. All I want to do is work," Raynor said.
Now, a national group has joined in the fight to change that. Melinda Haring, with the Institute for Justice in Washington, DC, is rallying behind Raynor to help change Nashville's home-based law.
"Shutting down a senior citizen's home-based business shouldn't be a priority for any city. Nashville is behind the times," Haring said.
Metro Codes says it never goes out looking for home businesses, but once they get a call and an address, officials have to enforce the law.
The Institute for Justice wants other home-based businesses to contact their firm. They are going to try to change this law in Metro. For contact information, visit: http://www.ij.org/.
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