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Testimony Project: Rhode Island Franchisee Association against a living wage



Welcome to UpriseRI’s Testimony Project. This project will make public and easily accessible the written testimony of the various lobbying groups that work the Rhode Island State House.

The following is the written testimony provided to the Rhode Island Senate Committee on Labor by Rhode Island Franchisee Association, Inc. In it, RIFA explains why they are opposed to raising the minimum wage in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Franchisee Association, Inc. pays Advocacy Solutions $60,000 a year to lobby on their behalf.

Thank you to M Marcy Feibelman for providing the transcription off this written testimony.

Rhode Island Franchisee Association, Inc
40 Jordan Street
East Providence, RI 02914
March 14, 2018

Senator Paul Fogarty
Chairman – Labor Committee
State House
Providence, Rhode Island

Re: Opposition to Bill No. 2244

Dear Chairman Fogarty,

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We represent 180 local small businesses across the state. Although we carry the recognizable names, our shops are independently owned and operated. We are small business owners. We invest in our state and employ thousands of Rhode Islanders from nearly every community. Despite consistently ranking near the bottom for business-friendliness, we continue to re-invest in this state. We are building and expanding our small businesses here.

Unfortunately, proposed policy changes will dramatically impact the operations of our businesses – jeopardizing future expansion prospects, increasing our liability, and likely leading to significantly downsizing our workforce or businesses closing. As a state that struggles with its business-friendliness, these policies will only make matters worse for the many small businesses, like ours, that are the backbone of Rhode Island’s economy.

We write to opposed Bill No. 2244 by Senator Calkin. It proposes to increase the minimum wage to $15.00. This proposal will drive up the cost of doing business in Rhode Island.

In recent years, cost increases have dramatically grown the burden on our businesses. Between operations and employment costs, taxes, insurance, utilities, supplies, building maintenance, and payroll, more than 90% of our revenue is needed to keep our businesses up and running. Already close to our threshold, the additional costs of the proposed minimum wage increases will hurt our small businesses.

Simply put, this proposal does not support small business growth or hiring. It will force a response. This will likely include: closing low-performing businesses, reducing the number of employees we hire, or trimming hours of operation. We will also, unfortunately, need to review the charitable contributions we earmark annually to support many of Rhode Island’s beloved community organizations and scholarship programs.

We urge you to please oppose these policy proposals. We look forward to the opportunity to discuss these concerns further with you in person.


RIFA Secretary

About the Author

The hardest working news organization in Rhode Island! Uprise RI was founded in 2017 by Steve Ahlquist, and focuses on civil liberties, social justice, and human rights.