Leanne Stapf of The Cleaning Authority provides testimony as both franchisor and franchisee, says “The economic benefits of the franchise model are undeniable,” discourages additional regulation
WASHINGTON, March 16, 2022 – At a hearing today before the U.S. Small Business Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Leanne Stapf, testifying on behalf of the International Franchise Association (IFA), highlighted the value of franchising and the ways the business model is helping lead the economic recovery. The hearing, “An Overview of the Industry, SBA’s Role, and Legislative Proposals,” covered the state of franchising and various proposals that could be damaging to the franchise business model. Stapf is Chief Operating Officer of The Cleaning Authority and franchise owner of a location in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
In her testimony, Stapf said this about the franchise model:
“The economic benefits of the franchise model are undeniable, and the state of franchising has never been stronger. While our businesses need more workers, today 88% of franchisees are satisfied in their brands, and franchises have led the economic recovery, with the highest growth rate since we have been tracking data, reaching nearly 775,000 total franchise establishments in 2021 and achieving an astounding 16.3% growth in output. Franchising remains the ultimate, hybrid business model between standalone small businesses and big corporations, and this model continues to empower people from all backgrounds to achieve their dream of business ownership more than any other format in America.”
Video of the full hearing is available here.
Stapf provided real-life examples of the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic while showing the strength of the business model to help local communities in the economic recovery. She detailed how franchising provides unique opportunities for entrepreneurs from all walks of life and the millions they employ, yet the challenges of opening a local franchise would only be made more difficult with increased regulation and barriers to accessing capital.
“Promoting access to capital is one of the most important ways lawmakers can ensure entrepreneurship opportunities are available to the next generation of people from all backgrounds and for those who need it most – a uniquely American approach to equal opportunity,” Stapf said.
In addition to Stapf’s testimony, the International Franchise Association provided a statement for the record, from IFA President and CEO Matthew Haller, detailing the IFA’s support for the Franchise Rule and addressing the recent reports of fraudulent actors in franchising, such as the well-publicized BurgerIM case. IFA details how the proposed legislation brought before the committee would not have prevented nor mitigated such cases. The statement clarifies the way the business model works and how it positively impacts the economy and the American people.
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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 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.