What are main street franchise owners saying about the proposed minimum wage hike in the State of the Union?

While the President’s State of the Union address touched on a number of priorities of the franchise industry, such as the need for comprehensive tax and immigration reform, many franchisees are concerned that President Obama’s proposal to raise the minimum wage at this time would be a job killer.

After the speech, IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira released the following statement:

“The franchising community welcomes the president’s call for action in Congress to address challenges with our immigration system and the complexities in the tax code. IFA stands ready to work with Members of Congress to enact these much-needed reforms for America’s 825,000 franchise businesses to accelerate job creation in our industry.”

Franchise businesses have been hit hard with constant incremental cost increases that make it more difficult for them to expand and create new jobs, such as Obamacare compliance costs, tax increases, hikes in commodity and energy prices and the lack of available capital. All of these policies and external factors are chipping away at the profit margins of America’s 825,000 franchise establishments, which support nearly 18 million workers.

This morning, we asked a few of IFA’s members what they thought about the proposal to raise the minimum wage, and here is what they said:

“The vast majority of employees in my business who make the minimum wage are not full- time employees. Requiring me to pay a high-school student, who I am training to be a worker in our society, a minimum wage of $9 will crush my business. 

“If my employees have a great work ethic, then I immediately pay them more.  This is a simple ‘market’ decision. If they are poor performers, then paying them $7.25 or $9 per hour will make no difference in their performance, but it will erode our ability as small-business owners to make a profit and therefore open new locations.”

Sean Falk a multi-unit franchise owner of Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina, Great American Cookies, Mrs. Field’s Famous Brands and Pretzelmaker

“Raising the minimum wage will not deliver customers with more money in their pockets. It will continue to discourage small businesses from hiring or even keeping minimum wage personnel.  Increasing the minimum wages does not help stimulate business.”

Earl Wertheim, Franchise Developer, The UPS Store