1. Donald Fox, CEO of Firehouse Subs
Donald Fox, the CEO of Firehouse Subs says he can afford to pay higher taxes himself, but some of the company’s franchise owners can not. “For those franchisees that are trying to save with the rise in taxes some of them won’t be able to,” Fox told BuzzFeed. The rise in taxes “is going to have a very real impact on those operators.” Fox was among a group of business owners who met with House Speaker John Boehner last week. He suggest letting the tax increase only hit those earning more than $1 million a year to not effect small business owners. Firehouse Subs has 562 locations.
2. Darin Harris, COO of Primrose Schools
Darin Harris, the COO of Primrose Schools says “many of our franchise have an income over $250,000 and it will have a negative impact on their ability to reinvest back into the system.” Primrose school is a private school franchise which offers child care and preschool programs for children 6 weeks to 5 years. Primrose has more than 245 schools in 17 states, and is planning to grow to 312 schools by 2014. Harris, however, says tax increases might but a halt on the company’s plan to expand. “We’ve got a lot of our business that are scared.”
3. Russ Reynolds, President and CEO of Batteries Plus
Russ Reynolds, the President & CEO of Batteries Plus, says “for the first time ever we’ve seen franchisees deciding to not go into small business over the uncertainty in the economic future.” Batteries Plus is the largest U.S. battery and light bulb franchise and has 530 retail stores in 46 states and Puerto Rico. Reynolds says “about 80% aren’t gonna invest in a growth if their tax changes” citing an recent study. Reynolds says if revenue are going to go up then he would prefer if Washington used the money wisely to lower the deficit. “If taxes have to go up please show us you are good stewards of the money.”
4. Jeffery A. Wesley, CFO of Two Men And A Truck
Jeffrey Wesley is the CFO of Two Men And A Truck, a moving company with a headquarters in Lansing, Michigan that operates 200 franchises across 34 states. He says the biggest concern for small businesses is the current uncertainty. “The Fiscal Cliff is a concern and as well as the tax/regulatory uncertainty and lack of foresight on growth policies,” Wesley said. “It certainly is a challenging world when DC is the biggest impediment to more success.”
5. Christopher Grandpre, Chairman and CEO of Outdoor Living Brands
Christopher Grandpre is the chairman and CEO of Outdoor Living Brands. He says that prospect of tax increase has made his company anxious. “We become more and more cautious and have fewer positions in the budget,” Grandpre says. “We tend to be more cautious in making investments in growth.” Outdoor Living Brands specializes in outdoor living and has 4 separate franchises with just under 250 locations around the globe, located mostly domestically. Grandpre added that no fiscal cliff deal is a awful situation for franchise owners. “They will feel it through reduced sales and they will feel it through higher taxes,” Grandpre says if Washington misses the December 31st deadline to make a deal.