You can make a huge difference on the regulatory environment for franchising during this year's U.S. Presidential and Congressional elections. As we all head to the polls next month, it's important to keep in mind the key issues that impact franchising and learn what the candidate's positions are. It is especially important to find out how candidates for the U.S. House and Senate feel about small business issues, because Congress will take the lead on passing or stopping policy issues that could have a significant impact on the bottom line of franchise small businesses.
The IFA Public Policy Platform has been developed to help evaluate candidates in your congressional district and state on how they would help or hurt franchise businesses. As you start to consider who will earn your vote, keep these important issues in mind.
PRESERVE THE FRANCHISE BUSINESS MODEL
This is the top policy issue that IFA is addressing at the local, state and federal levels. At the federal level, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has reversed decades of established legal precedent in holding that franchisor brand companies may be liable for labor law violations brought against local franchise business owners. If entire franchise systems are declared to be single units, or "joint employers," local franchise owners will lose control of the businesses that they have worked so hard to build. Check to see if your elected official supports H.R. 3459/S. 2015, the Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act, to ensure that local franchise small business owners are allowed to retain control over their own operations and keep businesses' workforce decisions at the local level where they belong.
REJECT RESTRICTIONS ON FRANCHISE BUSINESS AGREEMENTS
Ask your candidates what their position is in regard to placing restrictions on franchise business agreements. In recent years, several states have proposed legislation to limit the right of franchisees and franchisors to negotiate business contracts by placing unreasonable restrictions on franchise agreements. Prospective franchise owners are already protected by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) franchise rule, extensive federally-mandated disclosures, and additional state disclosure and registration statutes. Lawmakers should refrain from fencing in innovation by passing new legislation that retards reasonable contractual relationships.
PREVENT DAMAGING LABOR AND WORKFORCE POLICIES
In the past year, government officials...