Franchise business leaders speak out on “fiscal cliff” in Washington



With ongoing discussions by Republicans and Democrats on the fiscal cliff, franchise business owners are weighing in about the impact higher tax rates would have on their business.

House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy met with small business owners Wednesday to discuss the danger the fiscal cliff poses to the economy.  The event followed President Obama’s meetings with primarily corporate CEOs from The Business Roundtable as Republicans and Democrats work toward a solution to the fiscal cliff. IFA’s Don Fox, CEO Firehouse Subs and Mitch Cohen, Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin’ Robins franchisee, were among the nine business owners with a seat at the table to shine light on what will happen to their business if tax rates go up on individuals earning more than $250,000, which includes many small business owners.

“They said they are willing to continue negotiations but Republicans need more detailed spending cuts from the President,” commented Cohen as he left the meeting.  Fox said if a compromise isn’t reached, his stores are not going to be able to continue to expand and generate jobs.  “It can be said with absolute, undeniable certainty that if an ever increasing amount of the profit earned by the hard working franchisee is taken by the government, or redirected according to government edicts, the direct effect is that it will take longer to open new restaurants, and longer to create new jobs.”

IFA President and CEO Steve Caldeira and CEO of Firehouse Subs Don Fox spoke with Lauren Simonetti on FOX News Live from Capitol Hill to give their perspective on what the fiscal cliff means for the franchise industry (scroll to the 11 minute mark to watch their segment).

Each new franchise creates on average 40 jobs and with small businesses accounting for 65% of the jobs in this country (according to the Department of Labor), “it doesn’t make sense in this environment to raise taxes on anyone, especially the job creators”, states Caldeira. “There is no good outcome achieved by going over the fiscal cliff and agreeing on a fiscal deal is the first step toward creating long-term growth for the franchise industry,” explains Fox. “Of our small business owners, 80% are LLC’s and Partnerships and are already holding back until they know what tax rates are going to be.”

According to a member survey conducted by the IFA, 79 percent of members would halt growth plans if tax rates go up at the end of 2012.  The IFA sent a letter to Congress by 51 CEO’s urging the fiscal cliff to be averted and for Congress to extend all current rates while creating a framework for comprehensive tax reform in 2013.  Read the letter here.

The President continues to talk about the importance of small businesses to the growth of the economy, yet raising taxes on these owners is not the prescription for growth.  As we talk about the impending effects of the fiscal cliff and tax rates, small business owners need to have a seat at the table talking to the President and lawmakers in both parties about what they believe will enable the creation of new jobs our country so urgently needs.

For additional media coverage, see below:

IFA members top Inc. Job Creators list and continue to help rebuild the U.S. economy



Several IFA member companies, including Smashburger, Yodle and Home Care Assistance, were honored with being named to Inc. Hire Power Awards list, recognizing companies that are rebuilding the economy at such a critical time for our country.  Inc. released the list of the top 100 small businesses that have led the country in job creation over the past three years and will host an awards dinner to honor these companies featuring SBA Administrator Karen Mills.

Smashburger, Yodle and Home Care Assistance together added 8,047 jobs to the U.S. economy. The IFA has continued to be a key player in promoting the importance of small businesses to the ongoing economic recovery.

With members of Congress looking for ways to create more jobs, franchising continues to demonstrate meaningful and sustainable job growth.  For more information on Inc. top 100 list please click here.

The IFA makes huge strides this Veterans Day and marks the one year anniversary of Operation Enduring Opportunity



On Veterans Day, the IFA marked the one year anniversary of Operation Enduring Opportunity, a campaign to hire and recruit 75,000 military members and 5,000 wounded warriors by the end of 2014. International Franchise Association is well on its way to fulfilling the commitment made by the franchise industry to First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to enable veterans to find employment at home.

IFA President and CEO Steve Caldeira appeared on FOX Business Monday to show how the franchise industry has done its part in ensuring veterans don’t have to fight for a job when they return from the battlefield and explain why veterans make a good fit for franchising.

Since Operation Enduring Opportunity campaign began in 2011, 64,880 veterans, military spouses and wounded warriors have started careers in franchising, including 4,314 new veteran franchise business owners, according to a new report from the IFA prepared by Franchise Business Review.  “These results are a great step forward toward the IFA’s goal and we must keep up the momentum to enable those who have served and sacrificed to fulfill their dreams and find meaningful careers here at home,” says Caldeira.

With more than 1 million veterans returning home by 2015, the IFA plans to keep up the momentum to answer the call made by the White House.  Veterans are used to systems and structures and if you look and what makes franchising successful, it requires the same skills,” Caldeira told Fox.  “Now we have the research to show that franchising is good for veterans and veterans are good for franchising.

A new video, From Honor to Owner, highlighting the industry’s efforts, premiered at IFA Veterans Day events in Atlanta, Austin, St. Paul and San Antonio, where IFA members and prominent leaders joined together to honor the nation’s veterans and recognize the progress the that has been made in fighting veteran unemployment through franchise ownership and employment opportunities. (See below for highlights and photos of the events.).

In San Antonio, SBA Administrator Karen Mills joined the franchise industry to showhow the SBA has helped veterans start, grow and expand small businesses.  Mary Kennedy Thompson, President, Mr. Rooter, and a Marine, and Mike Rozman, Co-President and Chief Strategy Officer, BoeFly, were alongside new Lenny’s Sub Shop owner Maj. Cody Roberson (USAR) and new WIN Home Inspection owner SSG Shilo Harris (US Army, Ret.) to celebrate veteran owned franchise businesses while emphasizing the need to continue this important effort.

In Atlanta, attendees gathered at the State Capitol on November 8th for a presentation of the Color/Honor Guard and speeches from Governor Nathan Deal, Cassius Butts, Regional Administrator, IV US Small Business Administration and Joe Lindenmayer, President TSS Photography and incoming Chairman of OFA’s VetFran committee.

In Austin, veterans were joined at the State Capitol by US Rep, John “Judge” Carter and State Representative Charles Schwertner who emphasized the importance to expand the opportunities available for veterans to ensure veterans are able to make productive transition to civilian life.  Gordon Logan, Founder and CEO of Sport Clips, who has been involved in the VetFran program for 10 years and has over 12% of franchisees as veterans, spoke about the importance to recognize the service and commitment made by each veteran.

St. Paul, Kurt Zellers, Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives along with veteran owners from Mr. Appliance and Aire Serve, gathered at the Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda to honor our nation’s veterans and mark the one year anniversary of Operation Enduring Opportunity and the huge strides that have been made for veterans.

Veterans Day 2013 Media Hits


IFA members step up and give back as millions are affected by Hurricane Sandy



The super storm that began as Hurricane Sandy slammed into the east coast Monday and Tuesday causing massive destruction, touching over 60 million people and leaving 7.4 million power outages.  In light of this, IFA members are doing their part to help the Northeast and give back to those who have been affected by the storm as well as prepare their store owners for the storm.

Marco’s Pizza will be donating one dollar to the American Red Cross for every “New Yorker” pizza sold in their Cincinnati area locations the entire day of Halloween.  “Halloween is the busiest day of the year for pizza companies across the nation, so we hope to collect a lot of donations to help the Red Cross,” said Jack Butorac, CEO of Marco’s Pizza.  All nineteen Marco’s Pizza stores in the Cincinnati region are participating in this cause.  “Our hearts go out to the people affected by this natural disaster,” Butorac states.

Jersey Mike’s issued “Hurricane Best Practices” including safety manuals and what to expect upon re-opening, to all of its stores as Sandy started to grow last week.  Jersey Mike’s also anticipates getting up and running as soon as the storm has passed.  “Often Jersey Mike’s in one of the first businesses to reopen in affected areas and we are ready to help and feed the emergency crew by providing sub sandwiches,” explains Josephine Capozzi, Vice President of Franchise Relations for Jersey Mike’s.

The IFA commends the support by all companies giving back to those touched by the storm and will continue to track the efforts by companies helping the Northeast.

Crowdfunding helps veterans into business ownership



Veterans continue to struggle to find jobs as they return to an economy that is slow to recover. The nation’s veteran unemployment rate is 11 percent compared to the national average of 7.8 percent. That’s why franchise companies are doing all they can to assist veterans in getting back to work.

Larry Colley, who served 6 years in the 82nd Airborne Division and 15 years with U.S. Army Special Forces, came home to odds that were not in his favor when trying to find work in the civilian economy, despite his impressive military experience.  But Colley was able to start his own air conditioning business (Aire Serv, part of The Dwyer Group system of service franchises) with the help of Florida-based crowdfunding company Sprigster.

“Sprigster uses crowdfunding to help finance veterans who are coming home and starting their own businesses,” explains Mark Mohler, founder of the company.  Colley received $4,000 to start his business and since then has hired six people who were also looking for work, which Mohler believes is the key to his company — “getting veterans to start their own businesses so they can hire other veterans.”

The International Franchise Association continues to lead the industry through its landmark Operation Enduring Opportunity campaign in collaboration with the White House’s Joining Forces Initiative to hire as team members and recruit as franchise business owners 75,000 veterans and military spouses and 5,000 wounded warriors by 2014. The IFA will release a one-year anniversary report outlining the progress of the industry on November 12, 2012.

Sprigster and Operation Enduring Opportunity continue to help those who have served and sacrificed by enabling them to become leaders in the civilian economy. For more information about crowdfunding and the IFA’s Veterans Day events please visit To view the  interview with Sprigster founder Mark Mohler please click here.

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