IFA’s 53rd Annual Convention Rallies to Give Back

 

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More than 100 franchisees and franchise executives spent Saturday afternoon volunteering for the Saint Therese Center at the second annual Franchising Gives Back service project during IFA’s 53rd Annual Convention. The Las Vegas non-profit provides educational and social services to those affected by HIV/AIDS. The Center assists 3,500+ individuals affected by HIV/AIDS monthly. On any given day, Saint Therese’s Food Pantry can see up to 100 clients in need.

The participants prepared 2,000 hygiene kits and 1,000 boxes of food for the Center’s clients.  Father Joseph O’ Brien, Executive Director of Saint Therese and a Dominican priest for over 35 years, said the kits and boxes could serve the center’s clients for a month.  “It’s wonderful to have companies here, it is wonderful what IFA is doing,” he said.

IFA’s incoming Chairman of the Board and Managing Director of Roark Capital, Steve Romaniello, was a driving force behind the creation of Franchising Gives Back, along with Roark colleague Geoff Hill. “We tout franchising’s impact through advocacy, but the bigger impact franchising has is through our franchisors and franchisees working every day in their local communities,” said Romaniello. Geoff Hill expressed his satisfaction in participating in the community service project, “this is a family and Franchising Gives Back gives us the chance to get to know each other in a different way. Giving is essential to the human spirit,” he said.

Joe Lindenmayer of TSS Photography echoed Romaniello and Hill’s sentiments. “This is what the franchise community should be doing. Our franchisees work in their communities every day and we should do the same.”

Brian Sommers of Jersey Mike’s Subs, which provided lunch for all participants, said, “It is great to see franchising’s CEO’s and leaders rolling up their sleeves and coming together.”

Father Joseph lauded IFA’s outreach, “you are helping an amazing group of people. Thank you so much for being here.” Saint Therese serves over 5,000 men, women and children including 876 HIV positive clients under 18 with a staff that is itself 95 percent HIV-positive.  The Center has been in existence for 15 years and is the only pantry focused on HIV in the region. Jacob Murdock from the United Way of Southern Nevada, which coordinated the event, said, “This means so much to United Way and so much to Las Vegas.”

“The franchise industry is committed to serving the communities that support us,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. “Franchising Gives Back is a natural extension of the work our industry does in their local communities every day.”

Click here to view IFA’s Franchising Gives Back photo album!

What are main street franchise owners saying about the proposed minimum wage hike in the State of the Union?

While the President’s State of the Union address touched on a number of priorities of the franchise industry, such as the need for comprehensive tax and immigration reform, many franchisees are concerned that President Obama’s proposal to raise the minimum wage at this time would be a job killer.

After the speech, IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira released the following statement:

“The franchising community welcomes the president’s call for action in Congress to address challenges with our immigration system and the complexities in the tax code. IFA stands ready to work with Members of Congress to enact these much-needed reforms for America’s 825,000 franchise businesses to accelerate job creation in our industry.”

Franchise businesses have been hit hard with constant incremental cost increases that make it more difficult for them to expand and create new jobs, such as Obamacare compliance costs, tax increases, hikes in commodity and energy prices and the lack of available capital. All of these policies and external factors are chipping away at the profit margins of America’s 825,000 franchise establishments, which support nearly 18 million workers.

This morning, we asked a few of IFA’s members what they thought about the proposal to raise the minimum wage, and here is what they said:

“The vast majority of employees in my business who make the minimum wage are not full- time employees. Requiring me to pay a high-school student, who I am training to be a worker in our society, a minimum wage of $9 will crush my business. 

“If my employees have a great work ethic, then I immediately pay them more.  This is a simple ‘market’ decision. If they are poor performers, then paying them $7.25 or $9 per hour will make no difference in their performance, but it will erode our ability as small-business owners to make a profit and therefore open new locations.”

Sean Falk a multi-unit franchise owner of Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina, Great American Cookies, Mrs. Field’s Famous Brands and Pretzelmaker

“Raising the minimum wage will not deliver customers with more money in their pockets. It will continue to discourage small businesses from hiring or even keeping minimum wage personnel.  Increasing the minimum wages does not help stimulate business.”

Earl Wertheim, Franchise Developer, The UPS Store

The Time is Now: Start Preparing for the Employer Mandate

This time next year, the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including the individual and employer mandates, will be in full effect.  Even earlier, in October of this year, the first Health Insurance Marketplaces will open.  2014 will see tax hikes, regulations, paperwork, and headaches for franchise small business owners across the country.

The 2013 IFA Convention in Las Vegas will feature a session entitled “The Health Care Law and Your Business: What You Need to Know.”    Hear the perspective of a multi-unit franchisee, a health care policy expert, and a veteran insurance broker in a terrific panel that will explore the ACA’s impact on franchising, the most newest health care regulations, and how franchise owners can prepare for 2014.

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To expand its education efforts surrounding the ACA, IFA is offering to help franchise companies host webinars on ACA employer requirements for franchisees and other stakeholders.  These hour-long sessions include information on key definitions, tax penalties, communications strategies and other topics as well as a Q&A session with a health care expert from Washington Council Ernst & Young.  For more information on this member service, please contact IFA’s Kevin Serafino at kserafino@franchise.org.

Jania Bailey, President and COO, FranNet promotes new tool to help franchise small businesses participate in regulatory development

 

 

jania_2012headshot (5)The announcement by House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) of a new initiative to help small businesses participate in the development of federal regulations is a positive step toward enabling small business like mine, and for my franchisees and other small business owners throughout America, to voice our concerns directly to regulators in Washington, D.C.

Whereas large corporations may have hundreds of lobbyists, lawyers and regulatory experts on staff, my franchisees are focused on growing and executing their business and are unable to retain the type of regulatory guidance necessary to influence the decision-making process on regulations that will have an impact on all businesses. The online resource, “Small Biz Reg Watch, will streamline that process, allowing small business owners like myself to ensure our concerns are taken into consideration when agencies develop final rules for complying with regulations.

While the franchise industry is responsible for the creation of one out of every eight sector jobs, it is essential that small business owners make their voice heard as federal regulations are being considered.  I look forward to promoting this new tool and encourage other small business owners to communicate their concerns about regulations.

Jania Bailey,CFE
President & COO
FranNet

Tunisia, an Untapped Market for US Franchises

Tunisia, located on the southern shore of the Mediterranean just opposite Italy, is at the crossroads of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.  Tunisia has a domestic market of over 10 million people with a GDP per capita (PPP) of $9,698 in 2012 as well as a strong history of universal education and gender equality.  Further, its strategic location in the middle of North Africa and strong business climate, ranked best in the region for doing business by the World Bank, offer the potential to access a broader regional market.  Finally, recent legislation has formally defined franchising for the first time creating the necessary legal and regulatory framework for franchising to flourish. 

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Tunisia has few franchises outside the tourism sector and US franchises are underrepresented.  The recent franchising law and the new political and business climate, along with an IFA supported innovative financing facility, hope to change this.  Currently, a few clothing retail franchises such as Benetton, Guess and Zara can be found in Tunis.  Retail grocery giant Carrefour is building a bigger footprint as well.  Much of the rest of the market has little to no franchise presence, including the food and beverage sector.  Currently, the food and beverage sector is unique in that franchises need government approval to operate (other sectors do not need government approval).  That said, the Tunisian government is currently exploring how to reform existing laws to remove the individual approval for the food and beverage sector to fully liberalize the market. 

To learn more, listen to recent Webinar (and access the slides) hosted by the IFA on Franchising in Tunisia.  Contributors include IFA members, an existing franchisor and a franchisee in Tunisia, the organizers of the upcoming Tunis-Med Franchise conference from February 27 – March 1, and the implementers of an IFA supported innovative financing facility for franchises in Tunisia.  There is still time to sign-up to attend the Tunis-Med Franchise conference at the end of February where the IFA will participate. 

 

For more information contact:

Josh Merin (jmerin@franchise.org)
Senior Manager
International Franchise Association
(202) 662-0762

 

 

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