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For Immediate Release
Contact: Alisa Harrison, 202-628-8000

New Initiative Designed to Build Local Relationships, One Opportunity at a Time.

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2009—The International Franchise Association today launched a new grassroots program to bolster the franchise industry’s advocacy efforts and ensure its voice is heard on key legislative and regulatory issues.
Through its Franchise Congress initiative, IFA will create a nationwide network of franchise business advocates who will target specific elected officials with information about the importance of franchising to the nation’s economy and how certain laws and regulations impact local economies.
“This enhanced grassroots initiative is a major part of the franchise awareness campaign IFA launched last year highlighting our new tagline, Franchising, building local businesses, one opportunity at a time,” said IFA President & CEO Matthew Shay. “The goal is to raise awareness about the power of franchising and its importance to local communities among policymakers in Washington and in states around the country. We want to ensure that elected members of Congress have a relationship with at least one franchise business owner in their state or district. With Franchise Congress, we will build local relationships, one opportunity at a time.”
Stuart Mathis, president of The UPS Store and member of the IFA Board of Directors, will serve as the franchisor chair of the Franchise Congress initiative, and Saunda Kitchen, owner, Mr. Rooter of Sonoma County, California will serve as the franchisee chair.
“A strong grassroots program is critical to ensure the franchising industry is heard on key issues,” said Mathis. “I’m honored to be a part of this important initiative and I encourage all franchisors to get involved.”
“Franchisees can create a formidable force if we all get involved in public affairs,” Kitchen said. “Franchise Congress will provide the best opportunity for franchisees to make a difference on the issues that impact their bottom lines.”
IFA has targeted 10 key states for the initial phase of Franchise Congress, including Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Virginia. Each state will be served by a voluntary chair to coordinate activities. Additional states will be added in future phases for an overall goal of reaching every state in the Union. The first meeting of the Franchise Congress delegates will occur during IFA’s Public Affairs Conference (formerly Franchise Appreciation Day) in September in Washington, D.C. IFA members interested in getting involved should contact the IFA Government Affairs Department at 202-628-8000.
“The launch of the Franchise Congress initiative coincides with a crucial time in Washington,” Shay said. “We face unique challenges as lawmakers address the recession, health insurance reform, immigration reform and tax policy. Now, more than ever, franchise businesses can play a key role in helping to shape constructive policy outcomes for the major issues.”


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 nearly 1,300 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