Earlier this year, following a long and fierce campaign by the IFA, social studies professor David Weil failed in his quest for the top job in the U.S. Department’s wage and hour division. work. It was the first time since 1989 that the confirmation of a federal appointee was rejected on the floor of the US Senate. The wage and hour division has incredible regulatory authority over the franchise business model and Weil’s appointment would have posed significant challenges to franchising.
Weil previously held the same position in the Obama administration, during which he led the charge on an illegal overtime rule, sweeping restrictions on the use of independent contractors and new joint employment rules that imposed crippling operational and legal costs on franchise brands.
Registration of franchise rule
The success of the campaign to defeat Weil’s nomination offers a prospect for the next battle: the FTC’s 10-year franchise rule review. As we learned with the Weil campaign, the feedback and engagement of local franchise owners and franchisor executives helps connect policy makers to the impact of the laws, rules and appointments they make on the ability of franchise owners to do business.
In early June, the IFA led a panel of 16 national trade organizations urging Congress and the FTC to work together to preserve the franchise rule, currently undergoing its 10-year review. The Franchise Rule, the main federal regulation governing the franchise industry since 1978, requires franchisors to provide essential information to prospective franchisees.
In letters to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate Commerce Committees, industry groups have detailed how the franchise rule helps promote business ownership and support economic growth. The letters were signed by 16 groups representing businesses and industries involved in franchising: American Hotel & Lodging Association, American Staffing Association, American Home Care Association, IFA, International Health Racquet and Sportsclub Association, the International Sign Association, the National Association of Convenience Stores. , National Association of Realtors, National Association of Women Business Owners, National Council of Chain Restaurants, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, US Black Chambers, US Chamber of Commerce and Workplace Policy Institute.
(Read the full letters to the House and Senate on the IFA website.)
“During the economic recovery, there’s never been a better time for entrepreneurs and workers to be franchised,” said Michael Layman, IFA’s senior vice president of government relations and public affairs. “The franchise industry is growing faster than the rest of the economy, franchisee satisfaction has never been higher, and franchise workers enjoy greater opportunities for advancement and higher wages than workers in small businesses. non-franchised businesses.”
The letter continued, “The rule provides current and potential franchise owners with the information they need to weigh the risks and rewards of a business investment.…It has led to successful creation of pathways to entrepreneurship for business owners from all walks of life and has enabled those owners to create wealth. in communities across the country.
You did it, now let’s do it again!
The outcome of Weil’s recent nomination could have been very different if not for franchise “FANs” like you. In the 72 hours before the Senate vote, thousands of franchisees and dozens of brand CEOs — all members of the Franchise Action Network (FAN) — called on their elected officials to oppose his nomination.
The Weil campaign and others like it in recent years, including the IFA defeating the PRO law or including special language making franchisees eligible for Covid-era PPP funds, only succeed when decision makers hear about the full breadth of the franchise community.
In its ongoing efforts to protect, enhance and promote franchising, the IFA hosts cutting-edge events and offers professional development, certification and networking. We are your representatives in the halls of government, working daily to create a stable and predictable business environment that paves the way for your franchise success.
Whether you own hundreds of franchises or just one, never underestimate the power you hold as a voter, elector, or employer of people in a legislator’s constituency. You represent the American Dream and offer the promise of opportunity to every member of your team. In a very practical way, owning your local business is the embodiment of American free enterprise – the ability to go into business for yourself.
When lawmakers hear about you, they think differently about how onerous regulations might affect their constituency and the people they represent. Awareness like yours was key to persuading Senators Manchin (D-WV), Sinema (D-AZ), and Kelly (D-AZ) to vote against their party and the President’s choice to regulate how and who we employ. .
Your investment in building long-term relationships will pay the highest dividend. It may seem counterintuitive, but taking time away from your business to grow your individual influence with thought leaders and decision makers is one of the best investments you can make to grow your business.
In terms of the public policy and regulations that govern the franchise business model, the way forward is difficult. Ten years ago, the IFA worked on legislative issues related to tax policy and health care. Today, the issues we track are existential to your ability to be in the franchise business – issues such as the California FAST Act (AB 257) and the Franchise Rule.
Franchising has been the opportunity of a lifetime, and right now franchising needs you to share your voice. Become a FAN in your state (it’s free). Or come to Washington, DC September 19-21 for the IFA’s Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting and join over 400 other franchise owners to share your American Dream story with the members of Congress who hold your future in mind. Game.
Will you give 72 hours to the industry and business model that gave you everything? To join the Franchise Action Network, visit franchiseactionnetwork.org
matt haller is President and CEO of the International Franchise Association.