He makes a compelling argument that minimum wage hikes, health care costs and paid leave are hurting actual small businesses and forcing independent-minded people into the arms of giant corporations.
Guerrieri is concerned with the direct costs his business will incur, especially in a city where it is already expensive to do business. He agrees with many of the regulations to be implemented, but feels forcing the regulations takes away from the momentum that will allow him to reach those goals on his own.
Guerrieri compared a new business to a newborn. “The initial years are where we need a little help,” Guerrieri said. “They should allow a business to breathe in the beginning.”
Guerrieri, who currently employs eight people, wants to see his business grow and expand. His business plans include adding benefits, such as health care, for his employees.
“I want to be able to have that staff meeting one day and say, ‘Congratulations. We are going to have health care,’” Guerrieri said. He said he wants to say it proudly, with a sense of accomplishment, not because he has to.
In the long term, he said he wants to see his employees take over the new locations and run their own businesses. But he worries whether his younger employees would even want that option after seeing firsthand the cost of being in business for yourself.
“What is the incentive for the younger generations to be entrepreneurs, to be self-employed, and make a difference?” Guerrieri asked. “Why would I want to go into business when I can go to work for somebody, have everything covered?”
I’m for Obamacare. I’m for a minimum wage hike. I’m for paid sick leave. And while I won’t put words in his mouth, it seems like Guerrieri is, too. But that doesn’t make what he’s saying any less true.
Oh…and stop by his joint the next time you’re in Hell’s Kitchen. Ask him to recommend something. Your mouth will be extremely happy you did.