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For immediate release
Contact: Alisa Harrison, 202-628-8000

IFA Applauds New U.S. Conference of Mayors Franchising Task Force

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 22, 2009—The International Franchise Association today applauded the U.S. Conference of Mayors for recognizing the importance of franchising to economic development and business ownership in U.S. cities.

During the USCM 77th Winter Meeting held here this week, the newly-formed Franchising and Small Business in Cities Task Force, chaired by Mayor Doug Palmer, Trenton, NJ and USCM immediate past president, held its first meeting to discuss how franchising can help cities across the country create jobs and increase economic output.

“The formation of this new task force by the U.S. Conference of Mayors signals that mayors across the country value the economic output that franchise businesses contribute to local economies,” said IFA President & CEO Matthew Shay.  “Data show that the franchising industry outpaces many other sectors in terms of creating new business, new jobs and more economic output, even during tough economic times.”

For example, Shay said that after the 2000 and 2001 economic downturn, economic output of franchise businesses grew 40 percent compared  to 26 percent for all other business sectors and jobs grew 12.5 percent compared to 3.5 percent.

A report prepared by Global Insight for the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Council for the New American City says that metro areas are essential to the national economic recovery.  According to the report, 363 metropolitan areas are home to 86 percent of U.S. employment and 90 percent of wage income. 

One area identified to help foster growth is leveraging the contributions of franchised businesses as cities seek to increase economic development.  IFA and USCM have worked together in the past months to help facilitate communication, education and cooperation among franchise business leaders and mayors. 

In addition, IFA has partnered with mayors across the country to provide educational seminars for women and minorities to learn the basics of franchising and how people can get into business for themselves but not by themselves by buying a franchise business.  Of the seminars scheduled for 2009,  ten are scheduled in task force members’ cities.  In addition, some companies participating in the IFA’s MinorityFran program provide incentives and discounts to help minorities purchase a franchise.  All of these programs are designed to increase franchise business ownership in urban cities, Shay said.

“We look forward to our continued partnership with the nation’s mayors to help metro areas grow through business creation and ownership,” Shay said.  “Franchise businesses are critical components of our economy and have a proven track record in creating local business opportunities for entrepreneurs.”


Editors Note :  For the 2009 Economic Outlook for Franchise Businesses visits 

About The International Franchise Association

The International Franchise Association, the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising, is the preeminent voice and acknowledged leader for the industry worldwide. Approaching a half-century of service with a growing membership of more than 1,250 franchise systems, 10,000-plus franchisees and more than 500 firms that supply goods and services to the industry, IFA protects, enhances and promotes franchising by advancing the values of integrity, respect, trust, commitment to excellence, honesty and diversity. For more information, visit the IFA Web site at