By David Bennett, Senior Editor
In the world of New York real estate, Donald Trump earned a reputation as a self-publicist and an assertive schemer. Now, as the soon-to-be leader of the free world, President-elect Trump is still viewed by many as a self-publicist and an assertive schemer.
He’s also projected as a likely pro-growth leader, heading an administration with an agenda that prioritizes big tax cuts for business and a regulatory rollback not seen in the country since former President Ronald Reagan labeled ketchup a vegetable. President-elect Trump has stated that, after his inauguration, he intends to press forward with his goals to overhaul the tax code, healthcare and immigration laws.
Though it’s too early to forecast what is going to happen under the new administration, the moves the president-elect has made so far should give convenience retailers an idea of what’s to come. First are his cabinet selections. Among the choices are Rep. Tom Price, tapped to run the Department of Health and Human Services, and Andy Puzder, president and CEO of CKE Restaurants Inc., chosen to head the U.S. Department of Labor.
However, proponents insist the important thing is not the industries the nominees represent, but the fact they know about business and what makes businesses work.
Robert Griffith is the president of Golden Pantry Food Stores Inc., a convenience chain of more than 40 stores based in Watkinsville, Ga. Like others in the c-store community, Griffith is quietly optimistic.
“This entire election cycle has been very interesting, but also unpredictable, based on President-elect Trump’s campaign promises and now, cabinet appointments, said Griffith.
“However, I do feel as though the incoming administration will be more favorable for business in general.”
For c-stores to match up with bigger and more resourceful retail competitors, they must be able to operate in a more nimble environment. Insisting he would drain “the swamp,” once elected, some in the c-store industry say the incoming president can help by slaying a few authoritarian alligators.
Doug Galli, vice president and general manager of Reid Stores, who participated in our wages article, said the next president should make way for businesses to operate efficiently—a path currently choked by tons of bureaucratic red tape.
“The real problem is the entire government bureaucracy,” Galli said. “They write rules and regulations that are stifling 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.”
Of course there are many other issues with which c-stores must contend going forward including the probable repeal and replacement of the Patient Care and Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition, the minimum wage is set to rise in 21 states in 2017. This is aside from the federal minimum wage hike proposed under the President Obama’s administration.
As a new administration takes the helm, Convenience Store Decisions looks at some of these issues. How the next four years plays out is up for debate, but many convenience retailers do seem optimistic as they wait to see what happens.