Freedom of Speech HURTS, but not always who you would expect.
The recent incident involving the CEO of Chick-fil-A and the Local Politicians really got me thinking. How does the public view a business? Does the public actually know what a franchise is? Better yet, do our Politicians? In the Case of the Alderman that started this; the answer is NO.
Between the media and the three main characters in this little Drama, the person that counts the most is the person that is being ignored; the Owner of the Franchise. Everyone seems to be forgetting that there is a person/owner of this store that is more than likely no different than you or I trying to open a business. The Media, the Mayor, the Community at large and especially the Alderman seem to have forgotten about this person. What little has been said about the owner has been that the owner’s views are not the same as the CEO. Yet because of the owner’s decision to affiliate themselves with the company, they are unfairly being labeled as “intolerant” and are unduly being hindered in opening their business.
The misperception by the Alderman, Mayor, Media and even the community that the CEO is the sole voice of the company is unfortunate. How our business is perceived by the public is very important. But in some cases such as in this case we have very little control over it.
While a Franchise may work differently than other Small Businesses, it is still a Small Business. It is the owner of that store that will be paying the taxes. It is the owner of that store that will be paying the employees. It is the owner of that store that will suffer because of an unfortunate comment made by another person connected to the company name.
How the situation ends is still up in the air. If the owner of that store has to make concessions based upon what the Alderman and City decide is downright frightening. All because of someone else’s comment.
If I were the owner, I’m not sure how I would proceed. I’d have to look at how much I invested in opening the store and how much I’d still have to spend. If you were the owner; how would you proceed?