IFA Reacts to Obama's Penultimate State of the Union Address
Tuesday night's State of the Union was a vigorous speech that many politicos compared to Obama's landmark 2004 DNC convention speech that elevated his national profile. A term and a half later in 2015, the address was one of the president's final opportunities to speak to the nation in great detail with the might of the bully pulpit before the 2016 presidential campaign officially kicks off.
In a slightly shorter speech than in previous years, the President touted significant economic progress, while also outlining a roster of initiatives geared at creating middle class jobs and counterbalancing the recent gains seen by the nation's top percentage of earners.
In response to the address, the International Franchise Association sought the perspective of key leaders in the franchising community about what they feel Congress and the President should do to support the business community.
Clint Ehlers, Pennsylvania-based FAST SIGNS Franchisee on NLRB Joint Employer Recommendation
“The recommendation from the NLRB’s General Counsel that McDonald’s be considered a joint employer with several of its franchisees actually poses a threat to my business. If it is upheld and applied as a new standard, this decision could reduce my autonomy as a franchise owner, curb my appetite for expansion and possibly force me to reduce the number of people I employ. I take great pride in my independent franchise small business, and I hope to succeed for my family, my employees and my community. I cannot imagine what I would do if I were stripped of my independence because a different business owner, hundreds of miles away, is facing a lawsuit that has nothing to do with me. Hopefully Congress will force the NLRB to reject this flawed recommendation.”
Herv Breault, Pennsylvania-based Philly Pretzel Factor Franchisee on Proposed Minimum Wage Increases
“As a retired veteran, franchising is practically ready made for military folk and it is imperative to help integrate our returning servicemen and women back into the civilian economy. Congress should pass legislation that would give incentives for companies that hire military veterans, allowing veterans to pursue their leadership, teamwork and organizational experience."
Nancy Bigley, CEO, Bottle & Bottega, California on Federal Proposals to Increase Minimum Wage
“I have deep concerns about the proposed wage hikes being examined at the federal level. These dramatic wage increases are going to have a negative impact on small businesses, which already operate under thin margins. The Congressional Budget Office recently stated that nearly 1 million jobs could be lost if these wages are imposed. The bottom line is that I don’t think increasing costs again for small business owners will help them drive economic recovery. ”
Brooke Wilson, Multi-Unit Franchisee, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Durham, NC on the 30 Hour Work Week Requirement in the Affordable Care Act
“The Affordable Care Act’s provision requiring employers to provide coverage to full-time employees, and defining full-time as 30 hours, will cause many employers to alter their employees’ hours. The 30-hour definition is a major change that could have far reaching consequences we have not yet begun to see and decisions like this will lead to an increase in part-time work throughout the American economy.”
Saunda Kitchen, Franchisee Mr. Rooter Plumbing, Sonoma County, CA on the need for comprehensive Tax Reform
“America’s tax-code is not working for the economy and small business owners like me are getting lost in the complex web. Comprehensive tax reform, aimed at creating a fairer and simpler tax code for America’s franchise small business owners, is the best way to stay competitive and create more jobs.”