“If I started Subway today, Subway would not exist.”
Fred Deluca, founder of Subway restaurants, made this statement on CNBC this week and caused a shudder throughout America. Some because they love those tasty sandwiches, but most because it is such a sad statement on where our country is headed.
When an iconic and wildly successful franchisor say he wouldn’t exist today because of “harsh” government regulation it ought to make politicians everywhere stop in their tracks.
When will Congress and legislators in my state – Illinois – figure it out? Government overregulation and overreach is killing our small business community and therefore killing our economy.
NFIB has done extensive research of our small business members for decades. Every four years, since 1982, NFIB has issued “Small Business Problems & Priorities.” So I looked at the top 5 small business concerns in 1986 compared to our 2012 results and frankly it echoes Mr. Deluca’s comments.
Below is a comparison of top small business issues in 1982 and 2012:
1. Interest Rates Cost of Health Care
2. Cost of Liability Insurance Uncertainty over Economic Conditions
3. Cost of Natural Gas, Fuel Cost of Natural Gas, Fuel
4. Telephone Rates Uncertainty over Govt. Actions
5. Cash Flow Unreasonable Govt. Regulations
6. Cost of P&C Insurance Fed. Taxes on Business Income
Isn’t it interesting that in 1986 only two were related to government (interest rates and gas/fuel). Yet in 2012 you could argue all 6 of the issues are related to government’s direct or indirect action.
Unfortunately there seems to be little relief in sight. Once fully implemented, Obamacare will be devastating to small businesses and their ability to keep and afford their current health insurance. Small businesses also face an annual regulatory cost of $10,585 per employee to comply with just federal regulations. Under just the Obama Administration 6,125 regulations and notices – an average of 68 a day – were posted over a 90 day period. In 2012, the EPA’s paperwork, alone, took 176.2 million hours and $2.4 billion –a 30 million hour increase in the past 4 years.
I could go on and on ….
The government creep over the last 26 years has clearly led to many of the problems facing small business owners today. Mr. Deluca’s short but potent comment should really be a wakeup call to all elected officials — government is not the answer but the problem.