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

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