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NLRB Builds a Barrier for Women, Minority Small Business Owners

By redefining what it means to be an employer, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will wreak havoc on working families and small business owners across the country. But just who exactly will be on the losing end of the NLRB’s latest Big Labor ploy
   

For starters, franchise businesses will be hit hard and with costly consequences. According to the International Franchise Association:
 

  • There are more than 780,000 franchise establishments across the country in industries including children’s and senior services, clothing, food and beverage, construction, educational products, hotels, janitorial services, insurance, real estate, and transportation.
     
  • These small businesses support nearly nine million workers and $890 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy.
     

But more specifically, a significant number of small business franchises are owned by women and minorities. In fact:
 

  • Women and minorities own or co-own approximately 45 percent and 20 percent of the nation’s franchise businesses, respectively.
     
  • Asians own more than 10 percent and both African-Americans and Hispanics own roughly 5 percent of all franchised businesses.
     

These job creators have been speaking out for months about what small business ownership means to them, and what an expanded joint-employer standard would mean for their small businesses:
 

  • Jagruti Panwala, first generation American and hotel chain franchisee: “My family and I immigrated to the United States in 1988 in search of opportunities for education and entrepreneurship … I have worked too hard and overcome too many obstacles as an entrepreneur and as a first generation American, to sit idly by while bureaucrats and lawyers attempt to undermine my success and status as an employer – and as a business owner.”
     
  • Alex Salgueiro, Cuban immigrant and restaurant chain franchisee: “My experiences with the Burger King brand helped me recognize the opportunities available for lower and middle class Americans … My BK franchise has allowed me, and many other minorities like me, to attain the American Dream. Unfortunately, if the new joint employer standard, as proposed, is enacted, then it will destroy the ability for many middle class minority individuals like myself to be able to use franchising to attain the American Dream.”
     
  • Mara Fortin, entrepreneur and bakery chain franchisee: “[The broadened definition of employer] creates another level of overhead and administrative costs. I wanted to own my own business and live out the American Dream. This will take away my ability to run my own business …”
     
  • Kal Patel, Indian immigrant and hotel chain franchisee: “I am proud to be a lifelong entrepreneur and job creator, and I am grateful for the opportunities my family and I have had to be small business owners … The franchise business model has been essential in creating entrepreneurship opportunities for hoteliers, thousands of whom are first and second generation Americans … Adding exceedingly onerous obstacles and financial burdens on me, while simultaneously wrestling my independence and control, creates a hostile climate for business and discourages me from participating in the industry, developing new properties, and creating jobs.”
     

For these men and women, the National Labor Relations Board is turning the dream of owning a small business into a nightmare. So long as it benefits Big Labor, the Obama NLRB doesn’t seem to care what barriers it builds to the American dream or who is hurt in the process.

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