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Franchise association franchisees on the march

It’s interesting to note that it’s not just the IFA who are active on Capitol Hill. A somewhat new group is lobbying Congress to fight for the rights of franchisees involved with franchise associations: the Coalition of Franchise Associations, otherwise known as the CFA. After being launched in 2007, the CFA already boasts over 14,000 franchisee members, who employ over a million workers. The latest issue of Franchise Times has an insightful profile of the CFA that includes an interview with Frank Capaldo, the organization’s president.

"We have the same interest on certain subjects and we have the clout together to purchase anything we want," he said. "Together, we're bigger than a Fortune 500 company." The group's focus will be on legislation, education and training, purchasing co-ops and shared research. But it will also use its collective buying power for large-ticket items. "The BK association has to buy hotel rooms (for meetings), so does Supercuts and Meineke," Capaldo said. So it only makes sense to band together to get a price break on items and services they all need.

For franchisees in franchise associations, there’s never been a more relevant time to campaign in Washington. Card check, is of course, a huge issue, but also the push to get capital flowing again to bankroll a resurgance in small business.

"We need to get business-friendly representatives elected," said Loren Goodridge, a Subway franchisee and the CFA's government relations chairman. Goodridge introduced the Web site, which will provide action alerts and form-letters that can be customized to send to each franchisee's representatives to comment on the issues.

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