IFA Launches Congressional Franchise Caucus
New effort seeks to educate policymakers, media and the public on the importance of franchise businesses.
By Elizabeth Taylor and Haider Murtaza
In its continuing efforts to promote and protect the franchise model, IFA is launching a Congressional Franchise Caucus during the 2016 Franchise Action Network (FAN) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Congressional caucuses are formed by members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate to educate the public, thought leaders, and other members of Congress on various issues. In addition, the caucus members serve as advocates on those issues and emphasize their importance to their colleagues.
The purpose of the Congressional Franchise Caucus is to educate other policymakers, the media, and the public on the importance of franchise businesses and the economic benefits they provide to their communities and the country. The caucus will work with the @OurFranchise initiative, which is giving IFA members the opportunity to tell their stories and share how their franchise small business has impacted their community.
The caucus members will help promote all of the positive impacts of franchising to the U.S. economy. For example, in 2016, the output of franchise establishments in nominal dollars is expected to increase by $52 billion in the United States. And, the number of franchise establishments is expected to increase by 1.7 percent (an increase of 13,359 units), which in return would increase the number of direct jobs in these franchise establishments by 3.1 percent (an increase of 278,000 jobs).
The caucus members will illustrate that, behind many familiar logos and trusted brands are entrepreneurial, small-business owners who create economic opportunities in their communities every day.
The IFA will work in conjunction with the Congressional Franchise Caucus to organize events both in Washington, D.C. and in members’ home districts to highlight the successes of franchisors and franchisees.
Through programs and meetings in their districts, members of the caucus will provide a forum for their constituents who are interested in buying a franchise, working at a franchise, or expanding and transforming their existing small business using the franchise business model to learn about and pursue those opportunities. These member-sponsored franchise events will highlight career prospects for women, veterans, and minorities at franchise businesses.
The caucus programs will also give franchisees, franchisors and their employees the opportunity to meet their representatives, and it will give members of Congress the chance to hear from their constituents about the issues affecting their businesses and communities. Caucus events will assist caucus members in the development of new relationships with small-business owners in their community.
IFA is excited that co-chairs Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) will lead this caucus. Both congressmen are leaders on the issues important to franchise businesses and understand the vast contributions franchise small businesses make in their communities. As Davis artfully articulated, “My family has owned and operated McDonald’s restaurants in Illinois for years, and so I understand how franchise businesses meet countless needs of consumers and serve their communities in so many ways. Small businesses are the nation’s economic backbone, and franchises continue to grow faster and create more jobs than the non-franchise economy. Elected leaders need to do everything they can to support franchise businesses, and I look forward to joining other leaders of the new Congressional Franchise Caucus to further engaging the franchise community across the country.” Davis and Peterson will be urging their colleagues to join the Congressional Franchise Caucus and look forward to working with members from both sides of the aisle.
By joining the caucus, members of Congress can learn about and respond to the legislative and regulatory issues affecting franchise businesses. They will become the champions of franchise small businesses.
Elizabeth Taylor is Vice President of Federal Government Relations, Public Policy & Counsel for the International Franchise Association. Haider Murtaza is an Intern in the IFA Government Relations & Public Policy department.