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IFA Attends RNC and DNC Conventions Highlighting Franchising’s Role in the Economy

As former Mass. Gov.Mitt Romney mentioned this past August in Tampa, this country needs jobs, jobs, jobs…and a lot of them. Fortunately, there are a lot of jobs in franchising—nearly 18 million to be exact. As the International Franchise Association attended both the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention in Tampa and Charlotte, respectively, it hosted events to highlight the role franchising plays in the economy, spoke with members of the media and mingled with lawmakers and candidates to discuss IFA’s Franchise Jobs agenda.

A photo gallery of these activities and media placements that the industry received due to its presence in Tampa and Charlotte that were included in Politico, the Washington Examiner and ABC Action News, are below.

The Republican National Convention may have been delayed one day, but the show went on at Liberty Plaza, raising money for local charities and supporting our nation’s veterans.  Located next to the Tampa Bay Times Forum, and hosted by Citizens Helping Heroes, a non-profit group out of Washington D.C., the venue was the center for events and concerts during the week of the RNC.

The cleaning franchise Jani-King volunteered their services to Liberty Plaza and to do their part in helping veterans find jobs.  “It’s part of our VetFran program that we do with the International Franchise Association to support our troops as they return from overseas, helping them integrate back into the economy and society,” Jani-King’s Regional Director David Shahan told ABC Tampa. Jani-King also has its own program to help veterans, offering discounts off the initial franchise fee.

Military members were invited to all events taking place at Liberty Plaza during the convention, which is why the owner of the local Hurricane Grill got involved with the cause. “We’ve been a part of the IFA’s veterans’ program for a long time, and whenever we get a chance we like to help our veterans get back into business,” said owner Bob Rodi.

IFA’s VetFran program includes nearly 500 IFA franchisor member companies offering financial incentives, training and mentoring to veterans interested in small-business ownership and a career path in franchising.


On to Charlotte, N.C.

IFA also participated in a number of events during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.  As members of the New Dem Coalition, a coalition of business-friendly democratic members, IFA was able to meet with Minority Whip Steny Hoyer to discuss the upcoming elections and the fears within the franchise industry of the pending fiscal cliff.

IFA staff also spent time with Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and former member, Harold Ford Jr. of Tennessee, both of whom are influential members of the Democratic Caucus.

IFA member Pita Pit built an operational restaurant at the Fox & Friends studio in Charlotte, N.C. and interviewed someone each day during the convention.

Asked about the role of government following President Obama’s acceptance speech, Pita Pit Vice President, Corporate Business Unit Peter Riggs told reporters that some regulations are helpful to small businesses. “But when we cross that line for regulations to say ‘Instead of protecting you from outside, dangerous forces, we’re going to protect you from yourselves because we don’t trust you to make the right decisions for yourself,’ you’re taking that personal responsibility away from the person.” Riggs said organizations like IFA are making the case that “Some regulation is good; don’t trip us up, we’re trying to do the best we can.” ⎯


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