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Poised for Progress: What is the future of the indoor tanning industry?

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

Tanning salons are a thriving business opportunity if you’re willing to work for it.

Despite all we’ve been through as an industry, there is no reason to think that one can’t make a great living as a tanning salon owner. Some of the most long-standing and successful players in the industry – one-location operators and large chains and franchises alike – are reinvesting in their indoor tanning future. They understand indoor tanning remains a viable industry, and there’s potential for progress.

It would be an understatement to say that government hasn’t made it easy to be an indoor tanning business owner. But the tide is turning and the stage is set for significant changes in federal policy and the dissemination of illegitimate opinions about indoor tanning.

The majority of government-inflicted damage to our businesses occurred in the eight years under the Obama administration. However, new regulations have come to a screeching halt, and industry leadership remains hopeful that significant progress will be made in 2018 toward changing the federal government’s position on sunshine and sunbeds.

2017 saw President Donald Trump take office, bringing with him a business-friendly administration and a strong stance against arbitrary regulations. Trump almost immediately signed an executive order freezing new regulations and requiring any government agency proposing a new regulation to identify two current regulations to repeal in its place. Though small businesses may have expected more substantial change in 2017, we need to keep in mind that there are roughly four thousand politically appointed positions that need to be filled when a new administration comes in. Add to that the time it takes to get new appointees acclimated to these new positions, and you can understand why the first year of activity is slow.

This is why the American Suntanning Association believes we can expect 2018 to be a big year for moving indoor tanning issues in the right direction. More than 2,000 meetings between ASA personnel and federal representatives, agencies and staff have taken place over the past five years. ASA now has significant inroads with government leaders, a far cry from where our industry was before the ASA was organized. Government leaders today understand the unfair manner in which our industry has been treated by various agencies. ASA’s strong foundation of D.C. allies have been very supportive toward our situation and have expressed their willingness to assist us in our fight.

“In the five years since the formation of the ASA, we’ve never felt better about the state of the industry than we do heading into 2018,” says ASA President Melinda Norton. “Because of the strong relationships we’ve created in Washington, we’re confident that we’ve seen the worst when it comes to government interference, and we’ve never been in a better position to bring positive change.”

Click here to read the entire article in the latest issue of Smart Tan Magazine online.


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