Phoenix Businessmen Meet Director of Licenses
By Yousuf Bhuvad

In an effort to raise the issues and the concerns of the local small businesses, a group of local Pakistani business owners met with the State of Arizona Director of Licenses and Inspections Mr. Jerry O. Senior. The State officials present at the meeting included Assistant Attorney General and Deputy Director of the Department. The meeting took place at the Director's office in Phoenix on September 13, 2007.
The purpose of the meeting was to apprise the officials of the problems encountered in the inspection of businesses owned by small businessmen (stores, convenience, gas, retail etc.). Many inspectors, who come for routine inspections or detailed inspection, behave unprofessionally and sometime use language without any regards to the customers or female business owners.
The issues discussed in the subject meeting included:
1. Specify difference between usual inspection and an inspection with a pre-determined reason.
2. Inspections with intimidation in presence of customers
4. Attitude of inspectors indicate as if they are dealing with criminals
5. Lack of cultural understanding (especially when talking with women).
6. Questions probing the ethnicity of business owners
7. Payroll questions that can be asked from CPA
8. Role of Inspectors, City Police and DPS in inspections
The meeting lasted for an hour. The Director listened to the complaints with patience and expressed his support for resolving the problems. Taking note of the complaints, he stated that communication may be the main issue. He emphasized the need for additional trainings on the part of inspectors to deal with people with diverse backgrounds.
He indicated that he would love to come to a local ethnic event or gathering, provided his schedule allowed it. He showed keen interest in addressing the community. He wanted to reach out and make a mutual understanding of rules, regulations and cultural understanding. He inquired about community business organization and publications.
The business owners left the meeting with the satisfaction that that they had an opportunity to talk openly and directly with the high level officials of the Arizona State government.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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