Can a business owner lose everything because of what they said? Well, business mogul and 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump recently came under fire for some of his remarks regarding Mexicans and others who cross the U. S. border illegally. While this is a far cry from the bankruptcy cases Behm Law Group typically handles, let’s take a look at whether freely expressing your views could land your Mankato, MN business in bankruptcy.
The Trump Situation
Univision had already severed its contract with Donald Trump when he declared that he couldn’t continue his tv show, The Celebrity Apprentice, because of his candidacy. Nonetheless, NBC blasted Trump for his comments regarding Mexicans as well. Some wonder if the rebuke was because NBC would lose money by not continuing that show.
Other companies and persons who currently do business with Donald Trump are reconsidering their alliance with him. For instance, Cheryl Burke and Thomas Roberts, the two co-hosts of a pageant produced by Trump, will not participate in the next pageant.
Despite heavy criticism and loss of business partners, Trump remains steadfast in the accuracy of his comments, citing both truth and free speech.
Could It Happen to You?
Obviously, Donald Trump is a big celebrity personality and a billionaire to boot, so losing the revenue stream from his television show and a few business partners isn’t going to force him into bankruptcy. But what if you have far less money in reserve and really depends on a steady stream of customers for your small business to make a profit?
The short answer is yes, but it’s not truly because of what you actually said. Everyone is able to say whatever they please through the right of free speech. However, the 1st Amendment does not protect against others reacting negatively to your views. When consumers don’t like the views a business owner holds, they will often boycott that particular store or service. Furthermore, they will probably tell their friends and family to avoid shopping at that business as well which means you could lose even more revenue and gain an unfavorable reputation that could be hard to shake.
In the 21st century, word of mouth is still critical to business success and your customers show approval or disapproval with the ways they spend their money. So while you have the right to say whatever you want, as a business owner you might want to be careful. An off-color comment could potentially lead to a domino effect that ends in bankruptcy.
A situation like this certainly be one of the most interesting set of circumstances Behm Law Group Ltd has come across in our years of practicing bankruptcy law. But whether a comment you’ve said has cast a negative cloud over your business or you’re facing more mundane financial problems, contact Behm Law Group when you need to file for bankruptcy in Mankato, MN.