Local Woman Heads to DC, Concerned About Small Business

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A local North Dakota business owner headed to Congress, asking for something to be done about a recent decision made by the National Labor Relations Board.

She says it could hurt small businesses, and in turn, impact the customers who shop there.

"That's a lot of risk and a lot of uncertainty for me as a small business owner and that's why I felt it important to come testify before the Senate," says Ciara Stockeland, Founder and COO of Mode.

Stockeland, the founder of the local women's clothing store in Fargo, headed to D.C. on Monday, hoping to help reverse a recent decision that she says could cost her.

"I think for me, being invited to the table was progress," says Stockeland.

Her store is located in 11 different locations. Nine of the businesses are franchises.

"They hire their own employees, they run their own business and as a franchise company, we want to keep it that way, very separate," says Stockeland.

She's concerned because instead of each franchise being treated as its own separate company. She says she would now be in charge of all the employees at every franchise. This comes after a ruling from the National Labor Relations Board that changed what they've done in the past.

"I see it as a great advantage for large business and unions, but it's a really bad deal for small companies and small franchises," says General Manager Glenn Knudson of Northland Glass and Glazing.

"Our goal is to have 75 stores by 2024 and if I stop growing or look at growing slower because of this that's where customers lose out," says Stockeland.

Bottom line, some small business owners say it could push out the competition and give customers less choices.

Senator John Hoeven is a co-sponsor for the act and supports making a change.