Optimism for a Prosperous New Year
THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION cycle will be remembered as vicious and exhausting for many Americans, but also as a turning point that saw the balance of power in the U.S. shift from career politicians to political neophytes with an extensive background in growing businesses.
This indicates that Americans are looking for a new direction and they see President-elect Donald Trump as the man who can drive that change. Love him or hate him—there seems to be no in-between—the next four years will ultimately be defined by whether he can forgo the campaign rhetoric and be the productive leader his supporters believe him to be.
Furthermore, can President-elect Trump produce a business-friendly agenda that helps boost a sluggish economy and loosen some of the legislation restrictions that have hampered businesses over the past eight years?
Under President Obama, businesses—specifically small businesses—often had to bear the brunt of onerous regulations and rule changes. What was equally frustrating is that many operators I’ve spoken to through the years felt the majority of laws were unnecessary, unfair and counterproductive for the purpose of boosting the economy and creating jobs.
Trump has made no secret of his eagerness to drastically overhaul, and reduce, the federal government’s rulebooks—rolling back “every wasteful and regulation which kills jobs.” He promises a moratorium on new rules and much smaller agencies. He has also promised to reduce the business tax rate to 15% for “businesses, both small and large, that want to retain the profi ts within the business.”
In this month’s in-depth cover story, Convenience Store Decisions analyzes Trump’s potential impact on six crucial areas affecting the convenience store and petroleum industry: labor, healthcare, tobacco, fuels, foodservice regulations and taxation.
On each of these issues, often identified as leading concerns of convenience store business owners, Trump’s positions align with the Republican agenda. He additionally tapped two individuals with direct ties to the industry to cabinet positions: Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp., as Secretary of State; and Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants Inc., as Secretary of Labor. This is a positive fi rst step.
For the most part, the convenience store industry remains in lockstep with Presidentelect Trump’s vision for the next four years. Doug Galli, vice president and general manager of Reid Stores, told CSD’s David Bennett, “The real problem is the entire government bureaucracy. They write rules and regulations that are stifl ing business growth. We have layer upon layer of government agencies with oversight that is nearly impossible with which to comply. The insanity has to stop.”
Interestingly, Business Insider also predicted that Trump’s resistance to increased automation could slow e-commerce’s growth, a boost for c-stores. E-commerce companies are seeking to deliver goods—which include daily meals and groceries—to consumers as quickly as possible, and this involves automation within distribution centers as well as the potential utilization of drones for delivery. This is a trend that should be alarming to c-store owners.
However, if Trump maintains his stance to protect American workers from being displaced by machines, this could make it more diffi cult for online retailers to boost their productivity, the report said. This could stall the evolution of e-commerce and last-mile delivery, preventing the sector from delivering seamless e-shopping experiences for customers. Questions abound about what the next four years will bring, but there are plenty of reasons for optimism for convenience store owners. The cover story begins on page 28. Please enjoy and share your thoughts with me at [email protected].