Government Relations

Petition to Protect Small Businesses from Unjust Lawsuits

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                                             The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Speaker                                                                                  Majority Leader

U.S. House of Representatives                                          U.S. Senate

Washington, DC 20515                                                      Washington, DC 20510


The Honorable Kevin McCarthy                                        The Honorable Charles E. Schumer

Minority Leader                                                                   Minority Leader

U.S. House of Representatives                                          U.S. Senate

Washington, DC 20515                                                      Washington, DC 20510


Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leaders McConnell, Schumer, and McCarthy:

We, the members of the International FranchiseAssociation & the Franchise Action Network, representing franchising worldwide, thank you for your continued leadership on behalf of small businesses. We write on behalf of the nation’s franchising community to urge Congress to take immediate steps to provide certain temporary and targeted protections to America’s small businesses that are navigating the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in their local communities. Franchise businesses are currently preparing their employees, management teams, facilities, equipment, products, and services as the nation’s economy gets set to re-open. 

Additionally, we ask that Congress prepare to ensure that unfair and opportunistic lawsuits do not impede our country’s social and economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Specifically, we will support proposals that provide reasonable, short-term liability safe harbors to small businesses that take all good-faith efforts to combat COVID-19, while ensuring that any individuals harmed by true bad actors retain appropriate legal recourse.

As each state gradually lifts its health-related restrictions, the small business community is aware of developing efforts to file lawsuits against small businesses alleging that customers or employees were infected with COVID-19, either against businesses deemed essential that kept operating, or against shuttered businesses that prepare to re-open. During the coronavirus crisis, franchise businesses have been serving as modern-day “Good Samaritans;” we have been sanitizing health facilities, providing groceries, feeding essential workers, and offering other critical products and services – all at significant health risk to ourselves and our colleagues. Given the historic efforts of Congress and the Administration to provide the necessary liquidity to franchise businesses so we can stay afloat during these critical days, it would be devastating to have these same heroic franchise employers facing a series of unjust lawsuits as the economy revives.

Our businesses have served and protected America during this devastating pandemic. As Congress considers additional legislation to address the economic fallout due to COVID-19, we urge you to serve and protect small businesses like ours by enacting reasonable “Good Samaritan” legal protections as the country gradually returns to work.



(Your Signature)