Franchisee Jerry Akers Testifies Before House Education and Workforce Committee
Says greatest threats to small businesses are harmful legislative and regulatory action; details continued challenges from the pandemic and labor shortage; highlights countless opportunities created through franchising
WASHINGTON, March 28, 2023 – In a hearing before the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, franchise owner Jerry Akers testified on behalf of the International Franchise Association (IFA) today sharing the ongoing workforce challenges facing franchise business owners, the continued path to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and his significant concerns with policies such as the PRO Act that could diminish his business and employees.
Akers, a franchisee of Great Clips and The Joint Chiropractic in Iowa and Nebraska, said:
“I have experienced firsthand the remarkable impact that franchise businesses can have on local economies and communities, including their ability to create jobs, develop a skilled workforce, and foster economic growth…Franchising is perhaps the most important business growth strategy in American history.”
“The biggest threats facing franchise small businesses like mine during the economic recovery are legislative and regulatory action. There is no more significant and avoidable threat to small business job creators than the PRO Act…The PRO Act is perhaps the most anti-small business bill ever introduced in Congress. There must be a better way to advance worker rights in an evenhanded way.”
In a hearing titled, “Unleashing America’s Opportunities for Hiring and Employment,” Akers shared how he and his wife run a second-generation business with 220 employees who are “part of our family. He detailed how the pandemic continues to impact his business, saying, “While we are on a path to recovery from the devastating effects of the pandemic, we still have a long way to go.”
Watch the full hearing here.
Akers is an IFA Board Member as well as chair of IFA’s Franchisee Forum. For the past 16 years, he and his wife have grown their Great Clips business from one salon to 34 across Iowa and Nebraska. Jerry also owns five locations of The Joint Chiropractic and is an area developer for the brand in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
In addition to his IFA leadership roles, Akers currently serves on the Great Clips MARC franchisee leadership board, the National Federation of Independent Business State Leadership Council, and the Iowa State Cosmetology Board.
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Celebrating over 60 years of excellence, education, and advocacy, the International Franchise Association (IFA) is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations, and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the approximately 790,492 franchise establishments that support nearly 8.4 million direct jobs, $825.4 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy, and almost 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees, and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology, and business development.