Lonnie Helgerson Interview: Franchising Leaders React to Donald Trump’s Victory in the Presidential Election

From minimum wage and overtime to Obamacare and the joint employer standard, there are a lot of key industry issues at stake.

BY: CASSIDY MCALOON 1851 Franchise

After an unconventional campaign and historic election, businessman Donald Trump defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States. And in just over two months when he takes the oath of office, the businesses and industries that make up the American economy—including franchising—will be faced with a new political landscape in which they need to operate.

The franchising industry has been preparing for a new President ever since the campaigns first started. But now that the results of the election are in, both franchisors and franchisees are considering what a Trump presidency and Republican controlled Congress will mean for their businesses. Steven Parker, the co-founder and president of the pet care franchise K-9 Resorts Daycare & Luxury Hotel, says that the effects of a business-minded President will be felt throughout the entire industry.

“Putting his politics and views on the issues aside, the United States has never had such an esteemed and successful businessman serve as its President. That’s why I’m excited—this is someone who isn’t a career politician, but is instead what I would call a turnaround specialist,” said Parker. “Throughout his career, Trump has been able to make things happen. As a franchisor, I’m very much looking forward to hopefully lower taxes and less government regulations.”

Trump has yet to voice a strong opinion on many of the industry’s key issues at stake for franchising during this election season. While Republicans in Congress have raised their concerns, he has stayed quiet about the new overtime regulations set to take effect on December 1. And even though he supported a $10 minimum wage earlier this year, recently he’s said that he wants to leave the issue up to the states.

But that doesn’t mean the industry expects him to stay silent for long. The International Franchise Association’s president and CEO Robert Cresanti released a statement urging Trump to support the industry going forward.

“In this election, voters clearly rejected candidates who pledged to continue governing by regulatory fiat or impose policies that would destroy jobs and crush small businesses, which are the engine of our economy,” said Cresanti. “We urge the President to strike the massive regulatory state created by the practice of legislation through executive order and for Congressional leaders to repeal these unnecessary, harmful and overly burdensome regulations, beginning with the newly-broadened joint employer standard and the Department of Labor’s overtime rule.”

There’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the future of franchising as inauguration day nears. But one thing that’s for sure is the fact that even though the election is officially over, the industry will have to work with leaders on both sides of the aisle to ensure its continued success.

“Overall, Trump’s victory is a huge win for franchising. This will allow us to get back on track and be able to run our businesses the way we need to. But now is when the real work begins,” said Lonnie Helgerson, a franchise consultant and president of Helgerson Franchise Group. “Between minimum wage, the joint employer standard, overtime and Obamacare, there are going to be a number of changes happening quickly when Trump officially takes office. It’s up to all of us in the franchising industry to make our voices heard and ensure that we’re staying ahead of the curve.”