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Log In / Register | Sep 23, 2017
News and events that center around the selling and granting of franchise licenses

New SBA Chief Has Franchise Background

 The Small Business Administration has a new boss, and one with a franchise background no less. Steven Preston, the former executive vice president at The ServiceMaster Co., an international franchise with more than 5,000 locations, was sworn in as SBA Administrator last week. Mr. Preston replaces Hector Barreto, who was appointed in 2001 by President Bush shortly after taking office. Barreto resigned amid concerns that the administration did not react fast enough to the Hurricane Katrina crisis. The SBA was also roundly criticized for reacting to the events of 9/11 by giving out a mish mash of emergency small business loans throughout the country unaffected by the natural disaster.

Pennsylvania Raises Minimum Wage

The state of Pennsylvania has joined 19 other states and the District of Columbia in voting to raise the minimum wage. Governor Ed Rendell on Sunday signed the bill that will eventually take it to $7.15 on July 1, 2007. Businesses with 10 or fewer employees will follow a delayed implementation schedule, which will span over a two-year time period.

Critics say the increase to $7.15 an hour will lead to layoffs for unskilled workers.

KFC Sullies Chinese Classic

 The China Daily has a story that is critical of the cultural clumsiness of a new KFC commercial. Kentucky Fried Chicken's latest video advertisement depicts an old Taoist sage surrounded by his apprentices who excitedly hold a chicken burger and claim it as a masterpiece. Sounds innocent enough, right? Not quite. The backdrop and the old Taoist' s clothing simulate a scene from the movie Seven Swords, a work of fiction based on actual historical events and is highly regarded among the Chinese community.

Culture watchdogs are cringing, criticizing KFC for perverting Chinese history. The controversy has raised concerns that Chinese culture will be further undermined if ads like this are not changed.

"In cultural exchanges between China and the western countries, the latter always appears in a dominant position, and our culture and traditions are not given full respect," Han Yunbo, a professor of the Southwest University Literature Department, told the China Business Post. "This event tells us to better protect our traditions and to keep them pure against tacky reconstructions," he added.

Americans Mistake Overwork for Good Work

A survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com says that one-in-four Americans will take work with them on vacation this year. To get a sense of why Americans are working harder, and taking less vacation, Lynn Neary speaks with Bob Rosner. He's the workplace columnist for WorkingWounded.com.

Listen to the NPR interview.

Massachusetts Approves Nation's Highest Minimum Wage

Massachusetts Senate has approved the nation's highest minimum wage of $8 an hour, angering some small businesses. It is expected to pass the state's House next week and will begin to apply in 2008.

"We are very disappointed," said Erin Trabucco, general counsel for the Retailers Association of America. "It's hard for small businesses to deal with the wage increase. They'll be left with no other option than to raise costs to their consumers." According to Trabucco, the wage increase and potential price hikes that ensue will be especially hard for small businesses in Massachusetts that are close to the border with New Hampshire, where the minimum wage remains at the federal level of $5.15 an hour. "It will be hard to remain in business, due to the competition," she said.

Independence Day

 Wishing everyone a happy Independence Day on this Fourth of July. Remember: He who uses fireworks safely keeps his hand to blog with another day.

Here's some tips from Gizmodo on how to play with fireworks safely and another article on how to take great firework photos. 

Cell Phone Breath Analyzer

 What else can the cell phone do for you ?

The Korean cell phone manufacturer LG Electronics's LP4100 brand, to be released in the U.S. later this year, not only takes pictures of your friends' bar tricks, it can also ward off two of a a wild party's most undesirable consequences - drunk dialing and DUIs.

The LP4100 has a built-in breath analyzer that, when blown into by an intoxicated partier, gives a warning and displays a nifty little animation of a car swerving on a road and crashing into traffic cones. (Which should be easy for even the tipsy mind to understand.)

Google Checkout

 It is getting easier and easier for your customers to buy your store's products or services online nowadays, especially with the launch of its newest offering, Google Checkout.

Google has started a new online payment service as of June 28. The service which was formerly code named GoogleWallet mainly targets online merchant consumers. The service is free during a trial period, then it will begin charging a rate of 1.5 to 2 percent on payments, which is equal or slightly below the rates charged by PayPal. Although Google does not have a complete e-commerce solution yet, they are getting there. You can buy items on Google Base and at the Google Store as well as pay for services like Google AdWords, Google Video and Google Earth.

No Minimum Wage Raise!

 Small business and franchise owners breath a sigh of relief tonight. In a divisive election year, the Republican controlled Senate smothered an unsuccessful attempt to raise the nation's minimum wage of $5.15 per hour. It rejected claims by leading Democrats that after a decade the minimum wage needed to be adjusted to a higher cost of living.

The Associated Press reports Senator Edward Kennedy, D-Mass, one of the backers of the failed wage increase, as saying:

New Bill Wants Franchises Considered Small Business

Existing law prevents the SBA from recognizing individual franchises as small businesses when considering government contracts alloted for small businesses. House Small Business Chairman Donald Manzullo, R-Ill. wants to change that with a rule change. Under the proposed change, franchises would be allowed to compete for government small business contracts, amounting to some $119 billion annually, as long they met a certain size.

According to GovExec.com , not everyone agrees with the franchise-friendly changes.

"Lloyd Chapman, president of the American Small Business League, is waging a campaign against the provision, which he says would make 'every McDonald's considered a small business.'"