Small Businesses, Mega-Brands, and Hope.


Defending Small Businesses on Capitol Hill

This month will end with members of the International Franchise Association once again gathering in Washington DC and meeting with legislators. We will discuss several issues affecting all franchisors, franchisees, and suppliers as well as lobby for less regulatory impediments as usual.

The key issue this year will be the National Labor Relations Board’s decision to completely ignore the basis of the franchise business model. The NLRB recently ruled that some businesses are now responsible for the employment actions of other businesses.

Unless you’re blissfully ignorant or work for a service union, you will agree that employees of a locally owned business are NOT actually employed by a corporation that had nothing to do with hiring those employees. (Without setting foot on Capitol Hill, I can tell you right now how the two senators from my home state of Illinois will respond.)

If the work of the IFA in past years is any indication, the IFA members and the IFA team will do a fantastic job of communicating the needs for running a business, growing that business, creating jobs, and ultimately growing the economy.

Mega-Brands and “Hope”

But how much of this effort pays off for those who do most of the heavy lifting – small to medium sized franchise systems – versus the huge brands? Will McDonalds and the other mega-sized franchises join this fight? If we’re successful, these large brands have the most to gain. Will they support this activity and join us on Capitol Hill? I hope so.

A great deal of pro-business promotion, communication, and lobbying is done by franchise industry suppliers. Are the mega-brands supporting these suppliers? I hope so.

When they select a PR firm, software vendor, ad agency, insurance provider, or other business service, do they ask if that supplier supports franchising and the IFA? I hope so.

Continuing to educate legislators and voters about how businesses operate is important for the IFA this year. Perhaps in 2016, we can also educate some large brands about how businesses operate.

Senator Marco Rubio to Address IFA

Marco Rubio

The International Franchise Association has just announced that Senator Marco Rubio of Florida will join an impressive lineup of keynote speakers at the IFA Public Affairs Conference in Washington, DC on September 17.

Mr. Rubio represents a new generation of political leader who will be moving our country forward and is also very hard to cast in a predefined label. Like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, Mr. Rubio is a post-label politician; they’re pro-business and economically conservative, but they are by no means part of the old establishment when it comes to other issues.

I don’t know if Marco Rubio will be president someday (we can’t get that lucky) but it’s a sure thing that he will be a leader on many issues that affect American business, especially franchises and small business owners. From taxes to jobs to immigration reform to healthcare, Mr. Rubio will be a constant voice of reason and logic for decades to come.

If you’re a member of the IFA, you can register for the event now and sign up to meet with your member of Congress to discuss these important issues as well!