Mara Fortin is a multi-unit franchisee who fights for her business rights. Her strong beliefs about the virtues and values of being a small-business owner and franchisee led her in September 2015 to testify before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce about her concerns with the NLRB's redefinition of joint employer. She also led a press conference of small-business owners who spoke to members of Congress on Capitol Hill on issues facing their businesses during the annual FAN meeting in Washington, D.C. Today she remains focused on advocacy--and on perfecting her bakeries and continuing to grow her company.
How are business costs and government regulations affecting your business?
California is a very tough state and the costs of doing business continue to rise. We are trying not to raise prices, but it is difficult to maintain the quality we need and post strong financials. With the steady minimum wage increases, we are becoming more selective in our hiring, among other initiatives to attempt to control costs. More than the economy per se, which hasn't greatly affected us yet, we have adapted over the years to more regulations in California, which in turn affect the economy. We have a fully developed HR department, even though we are relatively small. We are very mindful of labor costs and we work on our efficiencies constantly, maybe more so than someone in another state.
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