Seattle’s minimum wage law should recognize franchises are small businesses

The Seattle Times offers some good editorial counsel to the Seattle City Council. Noting that the $15 minimum wage ordinance treats franchises as big business, the Time points out that the decision makes little no sense.

[There are] 1,700-some independent franchisees operating in the City of Seattle. In addition to fast-food franchises, these are businesses offering in-home care to elders and people with disabilities, pet groomers, barbers and the like.

And contrary to the rhetoric from the $15 wage movement, these businesses are not arms of corporations. Franchises have their own tax ID numbers and payroll — they are independent business units separate from the franchiser.

The Puget Sound Business Journal offers the story of one franchise owner.

[Matthew]Hollek put up equity on his home to open his first Subway store in Everett. The former aerospace mechanic wanted a franchise because he thought he would have some direction from the chain. “But direction doesn’t guarantee a living,” he said.

And it didn’t. As his business grew, so did his debt.

Read the whole thing. It’s a compelling story of the struggles of an entrepreneur who would be collateral damage in the progressive war on big corporations. This KIRO story features an interview with the owner of a home health care franchise, who would also be subject to the law though she has only 22 employees.

There more in the PBSJ interview with a representative of the International Franchise Association.

 

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