Dunkin’ Franchise Owners in Presidential Spotlight

On October 21, President Barack Obama announced important new steps his Administration is taking to support small businesses. During his speech, the President referred to a few specific small business owners, including Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owner Andy Cabral who was in attendance along with several International Franchise Association (IFA) members and Maria Icaza, also a Dunkin’ franchise owner. Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner and Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen Mills flanked the President during the speech, which took place at Metropolitan Archives, a small family-operated records storage company in Landover, Maryland.

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Small Business Faces Sharp Rise in Costs of Health Care

Reed Abelson reports in the New York Times that as Congress nears votes on legislation that would overhaul the health care system, many small businesses say they are facing the steepest rise in insurance premiums they have seen in recent years. Insurance brokers and benefits consultants say their small business clients are seeing premiums go up an average of about 15 percent for the coming year — double the rate of last year’s increases. That would mean an annual premium that was $4,500 per employee in 2008 and $4,800 this year would rise to $5,500 in 2010.

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Health Care Bill Passes the Senate Finance Committee!

On October 13, the Senate Finance Committee voted to approve its bill on health care reform by a vote of 14-9. While lacking wide bipartisan agreement the measure did attract one Republican vote, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME). Senator Snowe joined all the Democrats on the committee to vote in favor of the measure. The Senate Finance Committee proposal requires employers to offer coverage which is “affordable” to employees and which covers at least 65% of their premiums. The definition of affordability will be based on a sliding scale but cannot be more than 10% of an employee’s income.

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Starbucks’ Tip Policy Held to Violate Minnesota Law

Smartbrief reports that on September 30, 2009, Judge Patrick Schiltz of the Federal Court for the District of Minnesota declared that Starbucks Coffee Company’s tip distribution policy violates Minnesota law. Faced with a request for clarification from Starbucks, Judge Schiltz affirmed the breadth of his holding, writing, “Starbucks’ policy violates Minnesota law by requiring employees who work on a particular shift to share tips received on that shift with employees who do not work on that shift.”

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Franchise Industry Lobbies to Extend Small Business Tax Benefits

It may take months or even years before markets return to normal, yet a number of key tax measures that have helped small firms survive the downturn are set to expire, touching off a scramble on Capitol Hill to get them extended. The franchise industry, one of the biggest beneficiaries, has taken the lead in the lobbying effort as the clock winds down on several key tax incentives.

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Congress Mulls Fee Cut on Credit Card Transactions

Mark Calvey reports in the San Francisco Business Times that Visa Inc. and its banking clients who rely on the San Francisco company’s payment network to handle card transactions are fighting lawmakers on yet another front: the fees merchants pay to process a card transaction. Three bills in Congress would limit so-called interchange fees when banking issues are the hot topic.

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Calorie Postings Don’t Change Habits, Study Finds

Anemona Hartocollis reports in The New York Times that a study of New York City’s pioneering law on posting calories in restaurant chains suggests that when it comes to deciding what to order, people’s stomachs are more powerful than their brains.

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Independent Joe & Jim Videos

There are three videos to watch: Scroll down to view all three! What a Hoot! [flv:https://ddifo.org/movies/WorcesterMeeting.flv 570 318] [flv:https://ddifo.org/movies/DressingRoom.flv 570 318] [flv:https://ddifo.org/movies/PostMeeting.flv 570 318]

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DDIFO Paints a Bright Future at DCU Center Meeting

Dunkin’ Donut franchise owners who attended the members’ meeting in Worcester, MA on September 22 learned about plans to double the size of the group’s membership, were exhorted to get involved with the government legislative process for their own benefit and heard a battle cry to fight against apparantly aggressive legal tactics by the brand against the franchise owners.

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Dunkin’ Donuts’ Loss Prevention Department Wants You! Now What?

DDIFO is please to present Guest Commentary from time time from valued contributors. The following is an article written and submitted by Robert Zarco and Robert Salkowski attorneys at law, from Zarco Law, Bank of America Tower at International Place, 100 S.E. 2nd Street, Suite 2700, Miami, FL 33131, Telephone:(305) 374-5418.

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