Andrew Leager, the owner of Boylan Bridge Brewpub and the Special Projects woodworking shop, both in Raleigh, is just one of many business owners in North Carolina facing regulation from all levels of government. He recently discussed both of his business endeavors and how government is involved.
Leager started his business based on a principle which he fully embraces: building a product from the ground up and offering something unique, with a little bit of local flavor for the consumer to enjoy. He advocates this idea as something our country has benefitted from since its inception, and suggests that we return to it as a nation. He also tags himself as an innovator who likes to find out how things work, create them, and then self-produce them.
In some respects, Leager faced difficulty in pursuing his entrepreneurial aspirations due to burdensome government regulations. Various levels of bureaucracy frustrated his efforts greatly as he filled out mountains of paperwork, then had to wait patiently for approval. Leager specifically referred to dealing with the federal Tax and Trade Bureau and the excessive amounts of time and onerous paperwork that went into opening his brewery. He also noted the tedious exams and requirements needed to become a licensed architect, which he is.
In other respects, government has taken a more hands-off approach to his business, particularly at the local level. For many years Leager has been brewing his own beer and has had a relatively easy time opening and running his brewery. Overall, he feels that government has no place in his business; he makes his decisions based on his own personal business model, not the government’s. Leager’s brewing business, which opened in 2009, has been growing– maybe the government can learn something from Leager’s experience.
Leager’s story is one of hard work and a belief in servicing others. He is very proud of what his efforts and dedication have produced. Owning two separate businesses, he has seen different sides of the spectrum in these difficult economic times. He states that his restaurant business is affected more by the weather than by the economy. (This is because the outside seating area’s amazing view of downtown Raleigh is a major asset for the brewpub.) Meanwhile, however, his cabinet shop has been in a “deep trough.”
From all this, we see another success story produced by the free-market. Leager has developed his ability to create goods and services and provide them to the public, offering a valuable product to the market here in Raleigh. He finds satisfaction in providing his products and services to the consumer, and in turn is financially rewarded for doing so. Boylan Bridge Brewpub and Special Projects create and deliver innovative products at competitive prices and are great additions to the small business community in North Carolina. This happened despite the drag created by red tape and bureaucracy. Think of how many other businesses could be launched if government got out of the way and let hardworking people develop their talents and provide valuable products to the public.
Carrie Leggins recently worked as an intern for the Civitas Institute in Raleigh. Keep an eye on nccivitas.org.Video footage of Leager’s interview will be uploaded soon.