IFA Holds Advocacy Summit in Washington

IFA Advocacy Summitt

Franchising Contingent Pushes Back on NLRB Joint Employer Rule

International Franchise Association members met with more than 250 lawmakers and policymakers Sept. 11-13 in a show of support for franchising during the IFA Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C. In particular, the IFA members expressed opposition to the National Labor Relations Board’s forthcoming joint employer rule that would make franchisors share responsibility for labor infractions committed by franchisees. 

C-suite executives, franchise owners and supplier partners comprised the IFA contingent attending the Capitol Hill summit. Franchise business model advocates drove home the importance of franchising as an avenue to entrepreneurship, generational wealth and control of individuals’ career destiny as well as the positive force of franchises in their communities.   

In a news release from IFA about the summit, Michael Layman, head of IFA
government relations and public affairs, said summit attendees’ efforts were very
productive. “We need more voices just like we had this week to ensure lawmakers and
regulators understand how franchising contributed to local economies and communities
and why it is so critical to protect,” he said.

 IFA members spent time with Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota and Arizona independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who underscored the importance of voting to support franchised businesses. In other interactions, U.S. Reps. Kevin Hern, an Oklahoma Republican, and Democrat Henry Cuellar of Texas explained why they stand up for franchise businesses and suggested ways that franchises can maximize their advocacy efforts. 

Jessica Cavazos, Commerce Department deputy undersecretary for minority business development, and Christine Wilson, a former member of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), also spoke with IFA representatives. Cavazos discussed Commerce Department activities that aim to create a strong, equitable economy and how franchises are a major component of those efforts. Wilson expressed concerns about the FTC’s recent focus on franchising and told business owners how to air their views so they can most effectively bring about changes.  

IFA Advocacy Summit 2023
IFA CEO Matt Haller (center) poses with leaders at the 2023 IFA Advocacy Summit.

A Busy Agenda

The summit, formerly called the Leadership Summit & Franchise Action Network (FAN) Annual Meeting, began with a panel discussion about recent policy changes at the FTC and National Labor Relations Board. Panel headliners were IFA Chair David Humphrey and Radiance Holdings CEO Christina Kay Russell. Attendees also gained key insights into the importance and special nature of the franchise relationship during a panel presentation that included franchising titan David Barr of Franworth, Saunda McDaniel of Mr. Rooter of Sonoma County, Calif., and Meg Roberts of Franworth and The Lash Lounge.

Scott Greenberg, who wears the diverse hats of franchise expert, business performance consultant and author, led a workshop entitled “How to Tell Your Franchise Story.” The busy agenda of the IFA Advocacy Summit also included activities such as networking lunches as well as meetings of the Women’s Franchise Committee, Franchise Relations Committee and VetFran Committee.  

IFA Advocacy Summit 2023
The IFA Advocacy Summit concluded with the inaugural Hill-Apalooza, a musical presentation highlighting bands taught at local School of Rock franchises.

The event concluded with the inaugural Hill-Apalooza, a musical presentation highlighting bands taught at local School of Rock franchises. The students performed with U.S. Reps. Ashley Hinson, an Iowa Republican, and Max Frost, a Florida Democrat. “Every time one of our students takes the stage to perform, it serves as a powerful testament to the transformative power of small businesses,” Rob Price, CEO of School of Rock, said in a news release. “It is a source of immense pride and honor for all of us at School of Rock.” 

Canton, Mass.-based School of Rock, which has more than 340 units in 15 markets worldwide, is a leading brand in performance-based music education. The first School of Rock was founded in 1998, and the brand began franchising in 2004. 

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