The International Franchise Association wrapped up its 14th annual Public Affairs Conference on the 17th of September. Members met to discuss the topics that matter most to them with other franchisees, along with politicians interested in the future of business. It is hoped that through these interactions, both the industry and the legislators can gain a better understanding of one another. Using a policy platform that ensures the best possible business environment for franchise businesses, those who went to Capitol Hill made a case for IFA members that reflect what is most important to the industry.
Some of the topics discussed included:
The IFA accepts that the Affordable Healthcare Act is now the law of the land, but it is working hard to make that law functional for franchise owners. Some of the more burdensome aspects of it, including the consideration of 30+ hour workers as full-time and in need of benefits, were discussed at length during the conference.
The IFA is strongly for a fair and simple tax policy, and advocates for a lower tax rate for both individuals and corporations. This stance was discussed at the conference, and the position of the IFA was again made clear to lawmakers.
Franchises are businesses greatly affected by immigration policies, and the IFA wants a better system. Immigration reform is important for both business and the country as a whole, and the IFA wants a system that recognizes these needs. Policy changes, such that immigrants have a fair and legal way to gain citizenship or the right to work, are important for franchises. Senator Marco Rubio from Florida – an advocate for immigration reform - spoke at the conference on this and other business-related issues.
Not Just a Conference
Franchise owners made their way to the conference not only to discuss hot topics, but also to make their voices heard in Washington. Over 300 members went around Capitol Hill to discuss policy with lawmakers while in town. While the final results of the IFA’s efforts to influence legislators may take time to show, members can rest assured that their concerns were expressed to lawmakers.