Are you frustrated by harmful regulations impacting your franchise? Do you want to build a strong relationship with your member of Congress?

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Highlights from IFA’s 2010 Public Affairs Conference

If you answered yes to either or both of those questions, then mark your calendars and register now for the International Franchise Association’s 2011 Public Affairs Conference, sponsored by ADP. Scheduled Sept. 13 and 14 at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC, it will provide access to inside-the-Beltway guest speakers and valuable franchising networking opportunities. Join over 500 franchise leaders in celebrating Franchisees of the Year, learning about key issues impacting your business, and, of course, enjoying the hospitality of our nation’s capital. On Wednesday, venture to Capitol Hill to meet with your elected officials to hear where they stand on critical franchise issues. Visit the Association’s Event Web site for more information and to register. 

Posted by Meredith Nethercutt, IFA Director of Advocacy

White House earns praise from franchise industry on small business job creation efforts

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SBA Administrator Karen Mills, was joined in Dayton by the Chairman and CEO of General Electric, Jeff Immelt, who chairs the council for President Obama. (Photo courtesy: WDTN)

President Obama’s newly-formed Council on Jobs and Competitiveness met with local small business owners yesterday in Dayton, Ohio, to focus on ways to create jobs, opportunity, and prosperity for the American people.

Don Graves, Executive Director of the President’s Council, noted the contributions of franchise businesses to the U.S. economy at the IFA Small Business Lending Summit last month.

“What the IFA has done and what your members have done best is create those businesses that will meet market needs and create a great model that you can spread those businesses around the country,” said Graves.

 
(From left,  D
on Graves, Executive Director of the President’s Council on Job Creation, Stan Friedman, CFE, senior vice president, FranConnect, Steve Caldeira, President & CEO, IFA

Following the Ohio event, IFA released a statement noting the relationship it has forged with the White House and the role franchise businesses can play in accelerating job growth. 

“Given adequate financing and a strong pro-growth legislative and regulatory environment, franchise businesses can accelerate job creation in America quicker than non-franchised businesses,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. “Due to its structured, scalable and proven business model, the franchise industry can be a true locomotive of local job creation as evidenced by the industry’s 40 percent economic output growth rate over the past decade.”

Graves speech at the IFA Summit was part of the kick-off event in a long-term IFA-led campaign to get America lending again to franchising and accelerate job growth throughout America. IFA organized the Summit in conjunction with the Consumer Bankers Association, CIT, the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders and the National Restaurant Association.

Following the Summit, IFA and its partners have formed a working group to address the projected decrease in lending to franchise businesses and identify solutions going forward to spur economic growth and job creation. More information about IFA’s efforts to improve credit access is available at http://www.franchise.org/IFACreditAccess.aspx.

IFA recently provided members of the 112th Congress with new data showing the impact of franchising in their state and congressional district, while also outlining “Solutions for the Economy,” the franchise business community’s public policy goals that encourage economic recovery and job growth.

“IFA supports public policies that encourage economic recovery and job growth in the franchise business community, said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. “These include initiatives that increase small business access to credit, eliminate tax uncertainties, reduce the cost of health insurance and support veterans and minorities as small franchise business owners.”

According to the new data, there are over 825,000 franchise businesses across 300 different industries creating nearly 18 million jobs and generating over $2.1 trillion to the U.S. economy. The full report, The Economic Impact of Franchised Businesses, Vol. 3, conducted for the IFA Educational Foundation by PwC, is available at www.buildingopportunity.com and includes breakdowns showing the economic impact of franchise businesses in each state and congressional district.

In order to demonstrate how franchising is building local businesses one opportunity at a time, the IFA has been featuring some of the most iconic and emerging brands in franchising through a print and online advertising campaign in Roll Call, POLITICO, CQ.com, and National Journal. These ads have featured Dunkin’ Brands, Inc. (Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins), Express Employment Professionals, Jani-King, McDonald’s, and BrightStar Franchising, LLC.

The President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness was created to provide non-partisan advice to the President on the best ways  to strengthen the Nation’s economy and ensure the competitiveness of the United States and on ways to create jobs, opportunity, and prosperity for the American people. 

Posted by Matt Haller, IFA Director of Communications

Getting lenders more comfortable with franchising

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IFA leaders will speak to the nation’s top small business lenders during the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders’ (NAGGL) Small Business Administration Technical Conference this week in Atlanta as part of IFA’s Credit Access Road Show and broader efforts to improve credit access for franchise businesses and educate lenders on the benefits of franchise lending.

The ongoing IFA campaign will showcase how the franchise industry’s proven, structured, and scalable business model can translate into more profit and less risk for lenders offering small-business loans. 

IFA leaders will be speaking at events and addressing the media throughout the country as part of the campaign, in partnership with, among others, IFA’s anchor partners from last month’s Small Business Lending Summit, which included NAGGL, the Consumer Bankers Association, the National Restaurant Association and CIT Group. 

Stay tuned to IFA’s FranBlog for the latest on the IFA’s efforts to loosen credit for franchise businesses to thrive. 

A report from the Atlanta ‘Startup America’ White House initiative

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Yesterday I attended the Startup America – Reducing Barriers Roundtable session in Atlanta, GA.  Startup America is a White House initiative to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation to identify barriers and recommend solutions to the financial, legal, regulative and people issues that are discouraging business start ups or growth in existing small business.  

This is an excellent opportunity to speak directly to members of the Obama administration about the IFA’s “Solutions for the Economy” – which lays out exactly what needs to be done to get business growing again, including initiatives that increase small business access to credit, eliminate tax uncertainties, reduce the cost of health insurance and support veterans and minorities as small franchise business owners

I encourage all franchisors, franchisees and suppliers who can attend the remaining two meetings to do so.  At the conclusion of the round tables a complete report with recommended solutions on what the government can do to spur business growth will be delivered to the President.

There have been a total of six roundtables held to date with two remaining in Boulder, CO and Silicon Valley, CA in the next two weeks.  You can find out more about Startup America and log your ideas at http://reducingbarriers.ideascale.com.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at dgmcdoug@comcast.net or contact IFA’s Director of Advocacy, Meredith Nethercutt, at mnethercutt@franchise.org

Posted by Dave McDougall, CFE, Managing Partner, FranIntel

What is the Senate Doing Exactly?

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For those folks in the franchise world checking the news at night, you might see that the Senate is currently plodding its way through a small business reauthorization bill

The SBIR Reauthorization would help small businesses gain better access to federal contracting opportunities and new technology contract awards through agencies like the Department of Defense. 

While the SBIR Reauthorization would not benefit all franchise businesses, it certainly assists those entrepreneurs seeking to compete on a level-playing field with large corporations. 

One item IFA is tracking and supporting a bipartisan amendment offered by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to include the House-passed 1099 repeal legislation. 

If their amendment receives a vote on the Senate floor, it is unlikely that the SBIR Reauthorization package would be the vehicle to get 1099 repeal to President Obama’s desk… but I would never say never. 

The more likely path for 1099 repeal is for an agreement to be reached among Senators on the House-passed bill, H.R. 4, that gets it to the White House. 

The long and winding road for the elimination of the expanded 1099 reporting requirements continues… stay tuned.

Posted by Jason Straczewski, IFA Senior Director, Government Relations & Public Policy