Industry Voice: IFA supports policies to improve franchising
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Industry Voice: IFA supports policies to improve franchising

Industry Voice: IFA supports policies to improve franchising

As 2024 is underway, many of us have been tackling the goals we set for the year to come. As you think about your year ahead in franchising, I encourage you to keep IFA in mind as a reliable partner and source for this year and many to come. Throughout 2023, we delivered on our promise to protect, enhance, and promote franchising, and we are off to a strong start in 2024. 

The 2024 IFA Annual Convention, which was recently concluded in Phoenix, was an excellent place to set up for success. Recognized as the “Best Event” in franchising by Entrepreneur Media, our convention brought together the entire franchise family alongside the industry’s most prominent figures and a showstopping roster of keynote speakers. Past speakers included NBA star and Big Chicken franchisor Shaquille O’Neal and NFL legend and multi-unit franchisee Drew Brees. This year featured Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders. These leaders inspire us as we go back to our day-to-day operations and leave lasting impressions on the sector as a whole.

The IFA Convention provided unparalleled professional development opportunities, networking, and best practices throughout the event. More importantly, it gave us all a chance to gather and learn from one another. In franchising, we are at our best when we work together and take every opportunity available to make the business model even stronger than it is today.

While the IFA convention brings the entire franchise community together for a short time each year, the IFA team is working every day to protect you and your business from policies that could disrupt franchising as we know it. That includes fighting the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) new joint employer standard issued in October 2023.

In my recent testimony before the U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, I shared with lawmakers the power of franchising. I also discussed the detrimental effect this new expanded NLRB standard would have on the franchise business model. I explained that, nationally, franchising is a driver of economic growth, and individually, it’s a creator of generational wealth for people from all walks of life.

Our voices heard

In a bipartisan vote on Jan. 12, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Congressional Review Act joint resolution that would overturn this harmful new standard. It’s clear lawmakers are listening to your concerns and want to use their authority to stop joint employer once and for all. 

IFA continues to do everything in our power to stop the new joint employer standard from taking effect, including litigation with stakeholders across the business community and a robust campaign in key states to ensure this resolution makes its way to the president’s desk. We have seen the effects when a similar policy was put forward in 2015, and we want to do everything we can to ensure that doesn’t happen again. 

But we don’t just oppose policies at IFA. We are for many policies that will improve franchising from the earliest stages. IFA is working to establish a strong framework for the franchise relationship through improved pre-sale disclosure. We are doing so by encouraging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to focus on enhancing the information available to potential franchise buyers in the FDD rather than stepping in to regulate the franchise relationship once an agreement is in place.

We believe that proactively providing the information a buyer needs to make an informed purchasing decision improves the chances of a successful relationship and benefits both sides. We will continue to work with the FTC to improve the information available to prospective franchisees so that the franchise business model can continue to thrive well into the future.

The IFA team is unwavering in our commitment to improving the outlook for franchising, and we look forward to continuing to deliver on our mission to protect, enhance, and promote the franchise business model in 2024. Whether it’s advocacy, events, education, or engagement, we’re here to work for you.

Matthew Haller is president and CEO of the International Franchise Association.

Published: May 19th, 2024

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