WASHINGTON, May 9-The rising cost of gasoline is having an adverse impact on the bottom line of franchise small business owners, according to testimony to be presented today during a House Small Business Committee hearing by IFA member Jamie Smith, franchisee of Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Greater Baltimore, Md.
"Since opening my operation in 2010, I have seen a 29 percent increase in fuel prices, at a time when my sales and revenues have declined," said Smith in his written testimony. "As a small business owner, I cannot leverage economies of scale to absorb cost increases like larger corporations. Absorbing these costs drastically affects my bottom line. I ask American policymakers to immediately invest in strategies for increased energy production, greater use of our existing resources and promotion of alternative energy options like natural gas and hybrid electric vehicles."
Franchise businesses are poised for modest growth in 2012, but factors such as high gas prices are consistently cited by franchise business owners as one of the greatest concerns impacting their sales and potential for expansion. In IFA's December 2011 Franchise Business Leader Survey, energy prices were cited by 14.2 percent of franchisees as their top policy issue of concern, with only the health care law and access to capital ranking higher.
IFA supports legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which will produce 20,000 well-paying jobs in the short term and thousands more over time, while increasing oil supply and improve energy security. IFA also supports an all-of-the-above energy strategy to alleviate the burden fluctuations in gas prices will have on the nation's 825,000 franchise businesses which support nearly 18 million workers and generate $2.1 trillion in economic output.