NFIB California Main Street Minute, March 4-8

From your small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento

Welcome to the March 4-8 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento.

It’s all in the Dough

  • NFIB State Director John Kabateck found himself in the soup with the Newsom administration last week over his remarks about the exemption granted a friend of the governor’s in compliance with the state’s new law boosting the minimum-wage rate to $20 an hour for workers in the fast-food industry.
  • According to Assembly analysis of the law, “Exempt, from the definition of ‘fast food restaurant,’ an establishment that on September 15, 2023, operates a bakery that produces for sale on the establishment’s premises bread, as defined, so long as it continues to operate as a bakery, as specified,” which, according to a report in The Center Square is “a category that only includes Panera.
  • “Billionaire Greg Flynn, the largest franchise owner in the United States, is the second-largest Panera operator in the world and a classmate and major donor of the governor’s, leading Bloomberg to report that Flynn was able to get Newsom to secure a carve-out from the new wage for his stores.”
  • The Center Square asked Kabateck for his thoughts. “It must be nice for the governor to literally break bread with his high school friends and political donors to give them an off-ramp to an egregious law that will devastate everyone else. Many will likely be forced to raise prices or, more likely, scale back shifts, benefits, hours, or entire positions because they just won’t be able to make ends meet.”
  • Newsom has been insouciant about the matter all along. “When asked about the carve-out at the AB 1228 bill signing in 2023, Newsom said, ‘That’s a part of the sausage-making,’” reports The Sacramento Bee.

Uh, Oh, Truth is Seeping Out of the Spin

  • Last Wednesday’s (February 28) announcement by Macy’s that it was closing 150 stores, including its flagship San Francisco one, was careful to put the blame on declining sales. But a few employees at its San Francisco store are telling a different story.
  • “After news broke on Tuesday that the 77-year-old store was among the 150 locations Macy’s plans to shutter over the next three years, six employees working at the department store told The Standard that they believed retail theft was a primary factor in the decision.
  • “‘It happens every day,’ employee Steve Dalisay said.
  • “Dalisay, who has worked at the Macy’s in Union Square for 20 years after moving to San Francisco from the Philippines in 1996, blamed Mayor London Breed and 47, which made shoplifting less than $950 worth of property a misdemeanor, as the source of the store’s shoplifting woes. He called on the city to more aggressively prosecute shoplifters.”
  • NFIB has been one of the loudest voices pushing for a legislative remedy to Prop. 47, most recently participating in a news conference with legislators calling attention to a package of bills aimed at helping small businesses.
    • “Retail theft is particularly devastating to NFIB’s small business members whose ability to absorb inventory losses is razor thin,” said State Director John Kabateck at the news conference. “California’s business community and taxpayers deserve an end to this scourge and the time to get it done, is now.”

NFIB California in the News

  • In addition to The Center Square story above, which also ran in five of its subscribing media, a few publications covered a couple of NFIB CA PAC endorsements, including the Capitol Morning Report. Check out the updated NFIB California in the News story, a representative sample of all the year’s media hits so far. You can find all of the NFIB CA PAC endorsements in this news release we sent out Wednesday, February 28.

Share Your Views on the Workers’ Compensation System

  • How well do you think the workers’ compensation system is working? NFIB is encouraging our California members to take this brief, online survey.
  • The survey is hosted by the Workers’ Compensation Action Network, one of our partner organizations in WCAN is an employer-insurer coalition that has been active in workers’ compensation issues in California for the past 20 years.


  • March 5, Primary Election Day
  • March 21-31 Legislature on Spring Recess
  • May revise of the governor’s 2024-2025 proposed state budget. Date TBD
  • May 24 deadline for bills to pass their house of origin (Assembly, Senate)
  • June 15, midnight, constitutional deadline to pass 2024-2025 state budget
  • June 27 deadline for ballot measure to qualify for November
  • August 31 deadline for bills to have passed Legislature and sent to governor
  • September 30 deadline for governor to sign bills into law
  • November 5, General Election Day


Highlights from NFIB Legislative Program Manager Caitlin Lanzara’s weekly report

  • On February 27, NFIB sent a letter in opposition to the nomination of Acting Secretary Julie Su for Secretary of Labor. Read the press release here.
    • The Washington Times covered the letter, quoting NFIB VP of Federal Government Relations Jeff Brabant: “Small business owners deserve a Secretary that will comply with this bi-partisan law and enact less burdensome rules that consider the unique challenges small business owners face when trying to comply with federal regulations.”
  • Credit Card Swipe Fee Settlement Explainer: NFIB members who accepted Visa and/or Mastercard between January 1, 2004, and January 25, 2019, are likely eligible for a share of a recent $5.54 billion payment card settlement. The Payment Card Interchange Fee Litigation accused Visa, Mastercard, and various banks of inflating credit card swipe fees and violating antitrust laws. The Legal Center posted an alert here. Members with questions can also reach out for help by emailing [email protected] or calling us directly at 202-314-2070.
  • March Webinar: Registration is open for the March 6th webinar, “Must Have Employee Policies for Small Business: Hiring, Firing, and Staying Compliant.” Beth Milito will be presenting the webinar and sharing NFIB’s newly revised, “Guide to the Employee Handbook.” Register for the webinar here.

This Main Street Minute can also be read on the NFIB California webpage here. Next Main Street Minute March 11.





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