IFA Convenes Local Franchise & Business Leaders, Elected Officials in Series of Roadshow Events

April 29, 2022

Philadelphia, Pa. – The International Franchise Association’s (IFA) Open for Opportunity Roadshow stop in Philadelphia and Wilmington wrapped up this afternoon at Rita’s Franchise Company headquarters, where local franchisees, business leaders, and elected officials gathered to discuss the state of the franchise sector, how to strengthen it, and how to attract more aspiring business owners to become franchisees. 

“Over the last three days, we have met dozens of local franchise business owners that are living their own American Dream because of the opportunities franchising provided to them and their families,” said Matt Haller, President & CEO of IFA. “A topic of conversation today and throughout this roadshow stop was how franchising can help people overcome traditional obstacles to business ownership, like capital formation, obtaining financing, and finding real estate for a store. Philadelphia and Wilmington have a strong franchising community that, because of the commitment from the leaders who participated in this roadshow stop, will only continue growing stronger.”

“Franchising is all about going into business for yourself, but not necessarily by yourself,” said CertaPro Painters CEO Mike Stone. “At CertaPro, we teach you everything you need to know. Each one of our franchisees comes through our training program here in Norristown, learning everything from the basics of painting to marketing, branding, and generating new business. And the corporate brand is with them throughout the entire journey. We are glad the International Franchise Association brought its roadshow to the Philadelphia area to highlight the limitless opportunities that exist in franchising.”

“At WFSF Bank, our national franchise program supports aspiring business owners with access to capital – one of the biggest obstacles, but a critical component, to starting a local franchise business,” said Richard Snow, VP, SBA National Franchise Relationship Manager at WSFS Bank. “We want to support more Black Americans in building their own future in franchising – improving communities here in Philadelphia and around the country and creating an opportunity for generational wealth creation. A big thank you to the IFA and WSFS bank for their commitment to franchising and for partnering on Friday’s important conversation about improving access to franchise ownership.”

“Business ownership has never been more important. With the economy slowly rebounding from the turbulence caused by the global pandemic, our local franchise owners face challenges finding workers and planning for the future. Fortunately, the franchise model means that no small business owner has to tackle these challenges alone,” said Linda Chadwick, President & CEO of Rita’s Franchise Company. “Franchise businesses like Rita’s offer our communities more than just sweet treats. We offer the opportunity to make any American Dream a reality – whether in Philadelphia or any other community throughout the country.”

Pennsylvania is home to more than 26,000 local franchise establishments that employ more than 270,000 people. Delaware is home to more than 2,000 local franchise establishments that employ more than 22,000 people.

Open for Opportunity – which officially launched at IFA’s Annual Convention in San Diego and stopped in South Florida earlier this month – focuses on sharing the stories of local franchise owners and workers from around the country to demonstrate the positive impact they have on economic growth, job creation, and the communities in which they operate. The Philadelphia and Wilmington roadshow stop included back-of-house tours in both cities, a panel discussions and roundtables with franchisees, local elected officials, and business and community leaders.


About the International Franchise Association:

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 775,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 8.2 million direct jobs, $787.7 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.


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