Franchisee Leads Breakout Session on Disaster Response at U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundations, 2013 Corporate Responsibility Conference

This week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation hosted its Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) 2013 Corporate Responsibility Conference, effectively themed The Network Effect: How Business Drives Progress. It was an opportunity for businesses and leaders of corporate responsibility to convene around a variety of issues including energy and water use, woman’s economic empowerment, nutrition, and disaster resiliency.

Mitch Cohen, Franchisee, Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins, and April Schrenker, Manager, The Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin Robbins Community Foundation, participated in the Tapping Into Community During Disaster Response, Breakout Session. Here, they led a discussion on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and how Dunkin’ Brands’ Community Foundation has grown and operated since its launch after Hurricane Katrina. The Community Foundation provided disaster recovery efforts and donations to the affected victims and areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Seven years later, The Community Foundation has evolved into a grassroots campaign with a focus on mobilizing disaster response efforts through Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins’ community based franchise locations nationwide.

Best practices and constructive ideas were shared among business owners, and spokesmen and women from relief agencies like American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), aligning with the central point of the session, “One of the best sources of information on how to help disaster impacted community is by having employees on the ground. Whether it is a franchise owner or store manager, businesses can make smarter decisions and determine how best to help by leveraging their on-the-ground network.”

Cohen, franchise owner and operator of 13 Dunkin’ locations, is also Co-Chair of the Community Foundation, which has built a framework that allows the Dunkin’ Brands family to give back to those who help them every day in their communities. When speaking of the Foundation’s recent efforts after Hurricane Sandy, Cohen described how the Foundation likes to base decisions, not just on the ‘here and now’, but on effective response and recovery efforts that, “make a difference six, eight, and twelve months down the road.”

“Establish a mission with whom you’re giving to, and what for. Set expectations and guiding pillars that allow you to define certain criteria and expectations” added Cohen, when speaking of who to give to and for what reasons. The Foundation partners with national nonprofit organizations, in addition to regional and local level franchisees to support three critical issue areas, children’s health, hunger and safety. Since 2006, the Foundation has donated more than $4.4 million to organizations serving their neighborhoods.

Click here to view the 2013 Corporate Responsibility Conference online agenda.

Missed the IFA Financial Summit? Relive it with the WSJ’s live blog coverage

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Link: Missed the IFA Financial Summit? Relive it with the WSJ’s live blog coverage

The first panel at the IFA’s Financial Summit was live-blogged over at the Wall Street Journal’s Small Business page, so if you missed any of the lively discussion about the biggest challenge facing franchise businesses in 2012 – credit access – head on over and read this recap. In addition to the WSJ’s Small Business reporter Emily Maltby, the panel featured IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira, IFA Credit Access Task Force Chairman Bill Hall (a Dairy Queen franchisee), Ron Feldman, CEO of Franchise America Finance, Mary Jo Larson, Publisher, Franchise Times; and Darrell Johnson, President & CEO, FRANdata.

The panel was a preview of IFA’s second Small Business Lending Summit, which will be held in Washington on April 17. While lending has loosened somewhat in 2012, the franchise industry is still not back to where it was in terms of growth rates before the recession, so stay-tuned for more action in the coming months about steps the IFA is taking with its partners in the Small Business Lending Campaign to spur franchise small business lending. 

Posted by Matt Haller, IFA Sr. Director of Communications

As Congress finally wrapped its back-and-forth debate last week about how long to extend the payr

As Congress finally wrapped its back-and-forth debate last week about how long to extend the payroll tax holiday (ultimately agreeing to a short, two-month extension with a promise to re-visit the issue in a conference committee in January, IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira joined FOX News America Live Dec. 23 to discuss the outlook for franchise businesses in 2012. “Franchising remains a bright light in a still challenging public policy environment, but we are still nowhere near the growth rates experienced before the election” Caldeira said. 


Franchises are projected to add 168,000 new jobs and 14,000 new establishments in 2012 according to IFA’s 2012 Economic Outlook for Franchised Businesses prepared by IHS Global Insight, Caldeira told FOX’s Heather Childers. Yet they still face a host of other issues that are keeping growth rates below pre-recession levels, including the health care law’s employer mandate, uncertainty about tax rates and the continued difficulty accessing credit.


“The health care law continues to loom as a disincentive to job creation, particularly for multi-unit operators due to the employer mandate and 50 employee threshold for paying a penalty,” he told FOX’s Heather Childers. “Franchise small businesses need comprehensive tax reform that lowers the corporate and individual rates and provide certainty beyond 2012,” Caldeira said. 


Posted by Matt Haller, IFA Sr. Director of Communications

IFA partners with The UPS Store, SBA Administrator Mills, Mass. Lt. Gov. Murray to support veterans

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On Veterans Day, IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira joined SBA Administrator Karen Mills, Massachusetts Lt. Governor Tim Murray and Stuart Mathis, President of The UPS Store ® to announce a partnership to help veterans own franchise small businesses at a The UPS Store ® location owned by Jamie Salisbury, a veteran small business owner.

Steve Caldeira, IFA President and CEO alongside SBA Administrator Karen Mills and Mass. Lt. Governor Tim Murray at a The UPS Store ® in Boston.

The event followed The First Lady Michelle Obama’s announcement Nov. 10 that the franchise industry committed to hire or recruit 80,000 veterans as employees or small business owners by 2014, including 5,000 Wounded Warriors, as part of the IFA’s Operation Enduring Opportunity campaign.

“We are very pleased to partner with the SBA and Administrator Mills for this important initiative,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira at the event. “The SBA has been a lifeline to small businesses during the economic downturn, and with tens of thousands of service men and women returning home, increased opportunities for employment and small business ownership are critical to help veterans who served our country.”

The visit included veterans who have found career stability and success in franchising. According to a recent study based on U.S. Census data, there are more than 66,000 veteran-owned franchise establishments in the United States, providing jobs directly for 815,000 Americans, many through the IFA’s VetFran program, originally established in 1991, and subsequently re-vamped after 9/11. Responding now to veteran unemployment rates of 11.5 percent (22 percent for veterans under 25 years old), IFA is launching Operation Enduring Opportunity to offer returning veterans career paths in franchising including employment and ownership on a broader scale.  

 

SBA Administrator Karen Mills, Steve Caldeira, IFA President and CEO, Massachusetts Lt. Governor Tim Murray, and Stuart Mathis, President of The UPS Store ® visit with Captain Jamie Salisbury, a UPS Store Franchisee, and U.S. Army Veteran in Boston on Veterans Day. 

“We often speak about the sacred trust we have with our service men and women, and one way we honor that trust is ensuring they have every possible opportunity for success,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “On this patriotic day, it is only natural for us to reflect on our nation’s veterans who have the leadership skills and experience to become successful entrepreneurs and small business owners. The impact of this initiative will mean veterans and their families will get the chance to pursue their dreams as entrepreneurs and create jobs to drive economic growth at a critical time for our country.” 

Jamie Salisbury, a The UPS Store franchisee, served in the Army for three years—in Colorado, South Korea and Fort Devens and secured his first loan to open a The UPS Store franchise through the SBA. Today, he owns four The UPS Store locations in the greater Boston area.

The UPS Store ® has a long history of veteran support. Approximately 150 The UPS Store locations have opened under the VetFran program, a total financial incentive valued at more than $700,000.

On Nov. 9, The UPS Store ® announced new financial incentives, valued at approximately $300,000, to help up to 10 qualified U.S. military veterans open their own locations as part of a national initiative unveiled by the White House.

“We are extremely proud of our franchisees, especially those who are military veterans,” Mathis said. “Veteran unemployment rates of 11.7 percent – 22 percent for veterans under 25 years-old – are undeserved among the men and women who have honorably served to help keep our nation free.”

Posted by Matt Haller, IFA Sr. Director of Communications

 

Important tax provisions to franchise businesses may expire soon

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Franchise small business owners who take advantage of important tax credits may be at risk of losing them if Congress does not act before the end of 2011. These include the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for hiring workers who qualify as members of certain target groups who have faced significant barriers to employment and the 15-year depreciation provision for restaurant improvements and new construction, retail improvements, and leasehold improvements or renovations.

IFA is part of the “Broad Tax Extenders Group” and is galvanizing support from franchise businesses who take advantage of this tax important provision to tell Congress to act, before the end of the year, to ensure franchise small businesses continue to qualify for the tax treatment you receive in 2011 beginning in January.

Any franchise business owner who signs the letter will be included on the final letter being delivered to members of Congress next week. The deadline to sign the letter is Friday, Oct. 21.

IFA will continue to urge Congress for a comprehensive solution to tax reform, rather than a piecemeal, one-off stimulus approach. As it said in a letter to all Senators last week, Congress must view reforms through a lens that ensures businesses of all sizes, and particularly small businesses like the majority of franchise businesses, are given long-term certainty and clarity regarding their future tax rates. 

Posted by Matt Haller, IFA Sr. Director of Communications