“NFIB can keep the fire to the irons and keep after them. They know what is good for business, and they have been well worth my dues.”
NFIB New York Member Profile: Peter Wieman of We Wan Chu Cottages
Name: Peter Wieman
Business: We Wan Chu Cottages
Location: Mayville, New York
How did you become owner of We Wan Chu cottages?
My parents settled the We Wan Chu lands 50 years ago this month. In March 1966, they moved here from Cleveland. We bought up our neighbors over the years. The biggest chunk was when we bought We Wan Chu in 1979, and we have been running cottages ever since. We have 31 lakefront cottages and 32 rental boats.
How have you seen the tourism industry change over the years?
Everything has become so much more expensive. My biggest complaint is cell phones and lost productivity. Employees think they can have their cell phones out, and it results in a huge loss of productivity. But with gasoline being so cheap right now, people can travel farther, so people can drive farther and experience our tourism destination.
What struggles do you face as a small business owner?
The New York government charges me 10 percent unemployment. They charge that on school kids and schoolteachers I hire who aren’t allowed to collect unemployment by contract. New York State robs us. With Gov. Cuomo talking about raising the minimum wage, for me to realistically hire good people, I have to offer $15 an hour. It’s a struggle here. We get a disproportionate tax on property because we’re on the lake.
What advice do you have for other small business owners in New York?
I would only advertise in proven publications. In my case, I only advertise in the county travel guide, and they take their guide out of the state to advertise, which saves me a ton of money. I would recommend people get a website and promoting on social media. I have a Facebook following and I post on Facebook.
How has your NFIB membership benefited you?
We’ve been NFIB members for about 20 years now. NFIB acts as the checks and balances for me. I don’t want to go up to Albany to lobby because I’m an independent businessman. But the NFIB can keep the fire to the irons and keep after them. They know what is good for business, and they have been well worth my dues.