FAN in the States

On Tuesday, October 14, IFA staff Erica Farage and Chris Krueger, and a local Philly Pretzel Factory franchisee, Herv Breault took the Franchise Action Network (FAN) to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The event, which comes after recent industry events in Philadelphia, was a continuance of IFA’s engagement in the state.  As a veteran, Herv has achieved his pathway to small business ownership through franchising.

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The group had a productive day of Member and senior staff level meetings with the Pennsylvania Delegation. IFA met with the following offices: Senator David Argall, Senator Shirley Kitchen, Representative Cherelle Parker, Senator Tim Solobay, and Senator Mike Stack. Concluding the day, IFA met with the Policy Director of Tom Wolf, candidate for Governor. Mr. Wolf is currently leading in the polls and projected to be the next Governor of Pennsylvania.

The takeaways were clear – the FAN needs to be heard in every state capitol and lawmakers want to hear from you, the franchise small business owners. Educating lawmakers at the state level is an important part of the FAN and its days like this that allow the lawmakers to learn how important the franchising industry is to their state and communities.  Through the FAN, franchise small business owners can promote, educate and protect the franchise business model and help tell the franchising story to these decision makers. Locally owned franchises are America’s hidden small businesses, IFA asks your support to get involved, please visit www.FranchiseActionNetowrk.com to sign up.

Specifically in Pennsylvania, the IFA will be working with the state delegation offices and our local members to organize a “FAN, Franchising in your State” day in Harrisburg. These events help educate policy makers on what franchising is and the important role franchising plays to the state economy.

If you would like to get involved with legislative meetings in your state, please contact Erica Farage at efarage@franchise.org or Chris Krueger at ckrueger@franchise.org.

IFA Addresses Threats to the Franchise Model at MUFSO

On Oct. 7, the 55th annual Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators Conference, better known as MUFSO, concluded in Dallas. MUFSO is the most comprehensive executive conference in the restaurant industry and IFA sponsored a session titled, “Franchising Under Attack: Get Informed & Learn How to Take Action!”

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The session provided an overview from industry leaders and legal perspectives on all the franchise legislative and policy issues facing the industry. It also explained how to get involved through the recently launched IFA Franchise Action Network (FAN).

Panelists included Patrick Doyle, president & CEO, Domino’s Pizza Inc.; Aziz Hashim, president/CEO, NRD Holdings, CEO/chairman, Impact Investments; Michael Lotito, co-chair and shareholder, Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute; Steve  Romaniello,  CFE, managing director, Roark Capital; and Matt Haller, senior vice president, media relations & public affairs, IFA, who served as moderator.

The session got underway with Hashim, Doyle and Romaniello echoing points on the state of the industry under attack. Hashim noted he has “never seen this kind of wave,” regarding the industry threats with Romaniello adding, “Make no mistake, the industry is under attack and it is broader and deeper than most people think.” Doyle was hopeful “that rational people will make rational decisions, but a lot is at risk right now for the industry that could impact millions of business owners and jobs.”

Haller guided the conversation next to last week’s veto by Governor Jerry Brown of harmful franchise relationship legislation in California. The veto of SB 610 represented a true victory for franchise small business owners and employees throughout the state, the culmination of a two-year strategic campaign by IFA and California FANs.  “The reason people choose to be franchisees are brand promise and operations, franchising success rate is higher.  Legislation like this would weaken brand consistency which would lead to more failures,” Doyle commented.

Hashim added that SB 610 would have been, “government interfering in business contracts and have unintended consequences,” noting that, “special interest is at play trying to cause a rift between franchisees and franchisors.” Romaniello spoke to the energy surrounding the IFA opposition campaign:  “we have made a greater effort to engage franchisees, there are more common interests than ever before, and also a common enemy,” and continuing that “the Franchise Action Network is a tool to engage on a more granular and local level, as state and local issues are now a focus to be pro-active on, and California is a great example.” Lotito gave the opposition perspective on what SEIU is spending on this fight, how well its messaging is organized and the real challenge in this debate.

The next issue of discussion was the National Labor Relations Board recent ruling on joint employer. Lotito walked the group through the full impact of the proposed joint employer standard and what it means for the industry. Hashim noted that the ruling “profoundly changes the franchise model. Worst case, everything becomes corporate-only stores, which threatens the basic foundation of franchising. Franchisees are independent entities that hire, fire, promote and set wages.”

The panel closed with a call to action from all the panelists that there is no choice but working together to protect the industry and engaging lawmakers with the franchise business community.

For more information about the Franchise Action Network or to sign up, please visit www.FranchiseActionNetwork.com.

For any questions or inquiries, please contact Erica Farage at 202-662-0760 or efarage@franchise.org.

Annex Brands joins California Senator Marty Block to Discuss Economic Impact of Franchising

IFA is continuing its industry engagement in California, actively coordinating meetings between franchisees, franchisors and their lawmakers and taking advantage of the time legislators will be spending in their districts.

On May 2, Steve Goble of Annex Brands, Inc. met with Sen. Marty Block (D-39). Emphasizing the franchise business model and Annex Brands’ contributions to San Diego, Goble described the brand and educated Sen. Block on behalf of the franchise industry, while also discussing important public policy concerns such as the minimum wage and its negative impact on small, local franchise business owners.

“With 43 locations, creating 160 jobs and $12 million in economic output in Sen. Block’s district alone, Annex Brands is a franchise network that prides itself on providing more services to more people in more places,” said Goble. A shipping and business service center, Annex Brands is based in San Diego, Calif. with more than 360 independently owned and operated franchise locations throughout the United States.

The importance of franchising in the state, its economic impact and the job opportunities it offers Californians were recognized and well received by Sen. Block. The conversation concentrated on franchising and the business model, but the current issue of minimum wage was also addressed. With the minimum wage set to increase to $10 an hour in 2016, California small-business owners are making adjustments. As Goble described, when the minimum wage rises, so does labor costs. When labor costs rise, you have to account for that additional expenditure from the bottom line. As a small-business owner, that means either raising prices, if the customer will absorb the increase, or having to cut hours, leaving the owner to work longer, harder days.

Goble has been in franchising for more than 20 years and articulated how franchise small-business owners, who put their savings and credit toward business ownership, should be incentivized to grow and expand in the state and contribute to its economic growth. Sen. Block, familiar with the local Postal Annex+, appreciated the number of units, jobs and sales that are generated in his district and state.

Goble summed up the meeting as, “A respectful, thoughtful meeting and a great experience.”

If you would like to participate in this program please contact IFA’s Erica Farage at efarage@franchise.org.

NFL and IFA Launch Franchising Boot Camp

IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira, Senior Vice President of Government Relations & Public Policy  Judith Thorman and Director of Political Affairs & Grassroots Advocacy Erica Fitzsimmons traveled to the National Football League’s headquarters Dec. 12 in New York to announce a partnership  between the IFA and the NFL to execute the first-ever NFL Franchising Boot Camp, an intensive program for approximately 20 current and former NFL players and their spouses who are interested in learning about the franchising industry.

The boot camp is scheduled for April 26-29, 2013 at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, named for Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and will be keynoted by Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, a former NFL receiver for the Baltimore Colts and franchisee himself, who built an empire of 800 restaurants from one hamburger stand.

Several high profile players such as Drew Brees, a Jimmy John’s franchisee; Peyton Manning, a Papa John’s franchisee; and Colt McCoy, who has just signed on with Dunkin’ Donuts as a franchisee; have become part of our great industry. This boot camp will provide the opportunity for more NFL athletes to learn about franchising.

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IFA hosts tele-town hall to support members with the information needed to cast an informed ballot on Election Day

 

 

Last week, IFA held a tele-town hall, sponsored by Franchise Payments Network with the Romney for President campaign surrogate Former SBA Administrator Hector Barreto as part of the 2012 Franchising Votes campaign which intends to support our IFA members with the information they need to cast an informed ballot on Election Day. As part of the campaign, the IFA believes it is important to hear directly from each of the Presidential campaigns about what their Administration would do to support the franchise business community in the coming years.  (Please note, IFA is still actively working to schedule a town hall call with the Obama for America campaign over the next two weeks).

The call started with IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira who noted that “This is truly a critical election. If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to visit www.FranchisingVotes.com for all of the tools and resources you might need.” The policies from either Administration moving forward will have a direct impact on franchise businesses in the years to come. It is critically important that we are all well-informed as we head to the voting booth.

Former SBA Administrator stated that Governor Romney understands that many small businesses are hurting and need policies and regulations to start and grow their businesses especially as it relates to tax policy. They believe that “Governor Romney’s five point plan will get business back on track and create millions of new jobs.” In addition, Barreto noted that the Governor will create the right environment for small business and knows the importance of championing job creators and creating more tax certainty so that business owners can have the tools to continue to create jobs.

As it relates to small business lending, Administrator Barreto said that Governor Romney understands that  small businesses are really struggling to get the loans needed to start and grow their businesses and a Romney Administration would reengage the lending community to help better ensure that business owners are getting the capital they need. Administrator Barreto noted Governor Romney’s first-hand experience in growing businesses and creating new jobs.

Finally, Governor Romney would act to repeal and replace the recent health care legislation on his first day in office with common sense solutions. Administrator Barreto said that “Obamacare is not the right solution for our country, our economy and definitely not for our small businesses.”  IFA actively opposed Obamacare, in particular, IFA opposes the employer mandate in the legislation which could put 3.2 million franchise jobs at risk.

For the full recording of the tele-town hall call please go to: http://emarket.franchise.org/RomneyConferenceRecording.wav