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Government Action Affects Majority of Laundries: Survey

Most impact is negative, respondents indicate

CHICAGO — When governments at the local, state and federal levels pass legislation, create policies, etc., often laundry/linen service operations are affected.

That’s what respondents indicated on a recent American Laundry News Your Views survey.

When asked how much governmental activities impact their laundries, 53% of survey takers indicate “a lot,” while 26.7% say, “somewhat.”

Only 20% of respondents say government actions only affect them “a little” or “not at all.”

When asked to describe some government activities that affect their operations, answers include:

  • Tariffs.
  • Reporting requirements.
  • OSHA, EEOC regulations.
  • Unreasonable wastewater permit parameters.
  • Chemistry, wages.
  • Paid family leave, permits, taxes.

When asked which level of government impacts operations the most, 40% of respondents say state government do so, followed by local entities at 33.3% and the federal government at 26.7%.

“Local regulations put me at a huge disadvantage to bordering communities and states,” a respondent writes.

What kind of effect do government actions have on laundries? More than 73% of respondents indicate the action has been “negative” or “somewhat negative.” Just under 14% of survey takers say government activity has been “positive” or “somewhat positive,” and just over 13% say the actions have been neutral in impact on laundries.

Respondents who indicate that the actions were “positive” or “somewhat positive” write that, “I feel the efforts are in earnest and worthy of my support,” and “usually in the best interest of all.”

Those who indicate governmental actions have been on the negative side, say:

  • The regulations defy reason and subject us to potential liability.
  • Additional costs for compliance.
  • New York keeps raising minimum wage, adding unfunded mandates and extra fees to business.
  • I’m in California. Enough said.
  • None of it is realistic.  

Looking ahead to 2019, 33% of respondents say that tariffs will most affect their businesses, while 20% believe environmental regulations will have the most impact, followed by taxes at 13%. Another 33% of survey takers indicate that other government activities will affect their laundries in 2019, with most of those indicating minimum wage having the most impact.

One survey taker writes, “Regulatory compliance issues are not going away.”

Another concludes, “When Trump is impeached and we can resume a more legitimate government, we in business will be able to plan our moves with more certainty.”

While the Your Views survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific. Due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100%.

Subscribers to American Laundry News e-mails are invited to take the industry survey anonymously online each quarter. All managers and administrators of institutional/OPL, cooperative, commercial and industrial laundries are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and identify industry trends.