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IFA’s 2013 Public Affairs Conference − Protect Your Franchise Small-Business Community

Here are five reasons you should attend IFA‘s premiere event in the nation’s capital.

Being an active participant in the political process, your efforts to advocate on issues of importance to your business and maintain good relationships with your members of Congress are critical to the future of our industry. You’re invited to accomplish these crucial goals by participating in the International Franchise Association’s 15th Annual Public Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C.  Sept. 16 and 17.

Five hundred of IFA’s most engaged and active members – franchisees, franchisors and suppliers – will participate in this leading advocacy event. Don’t miss the opportunity to educate your elected officials on issues that matter most to you and your business. ADP is the Founding Public Affairs Conference and Franchisee of the Year Award Sponsor.

Here are the top reasons you should attend in this important year.

1. Protect Your Business

Members of Congress need to know how important franchising is to the nation’s economy and our continued economic recovery, and how legislative issues affect your bottom line. It’s up to you to get the information to them and protect your business.  Franchisees and franchisors must unite to support pro-business policies at the federal level to protect our Main Street franchise businesses.

There is still much at stake, putting the ability of small-business owners to succeed and thrive at risk.  Health care implementation, complex tax laws, anti-business work-force policies and more are jeopardizing the profitability of small businesses. We must educate our elected officials to protect America’s vital franchise sector.

2. Get Updates on Key Political Issues

Learn more about the key issues that affect your business’ bottom lines. IFA wants to make sure that members are equipped with the most up-to-date information about issues that affect your businesses. This year, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about some of the most important issues that the IFA Government Relations & Public Policy team is working on in Washington and in the states and how these issues directly impact franchisees and franchisors.

3. Make a Real Difference

You are your own best advocate, and as an active IFA member, you are the best voice for our industry. Being an active participant in the political process, advocating on issues of importance to your business and maintaining open relationships with your elected officials is critical to the future of the industry. Getting involved in IFA’s advocacy efforts during the Public Affairs Conference will help drive our effectiveness on Capitol Hill and within state legislatures throughout the year.

A survey of congressional staff shows that they believe constituents actually have more influence on undecided lawmakers than lobbyists do. When asked about various groups and strategies that might influence their member of Congress, 46 percent of congressional staff members surveyed said that “in-person constituent visits” would have “a lot” of influence on a member’s decision. That person with significant influence could be you.

4. Network with Your Peers – Learn Something New

Not only do you get to make a difference on Capitol Hill, but this event offers a great networking opportunity. The Public Affairs Conference allows you to engage your peers and share best practices as you look to grow your businesses. In addition, the conference offers IFA members a chance to meet with the some of the best-known leaders in the franchise industry and benefit from their decades of experience.

5. Exciting Events and Receptions

In addition to the serious work of lobbying elected officials, there are also fun events planned during the two conference evenings. Here’s a sneak preview of three receptions that you shouldn’t miss:

  • Leadership and Franchisee of the Year Awards Dinner.  The welcome reception at the JW Marriott will once again honor franchisee business owners who have made a difference in the franchise community this year. Come celebrate their accomplishments and gather for a fun night with your friends.
  • Taste of Franchising Congressional Reception.  After last year’s hugely successful event, the 2013 “Taste of Franchising” Congressional Reception is expected to be yet another record breaker in terms of congressional attendance. There you can sample food from some of your favorite franchise brands and enjoy refreshments with members of Congress and staff, along with your fellow delegates. This not-to-be-missed event will be a highlight of this year’s conference.
  • FranPAC Congressional Dinner.  As part of the Public Affairs Conference, IFA will conduct its annual FranPAC Congressional Dinner at Washington, D.C.’s exclusive restaurant, Central. The private dinner will offer cuisine prepared by  celebrated restaurateur Michel Richard, and will provide guests who donate to IFA’s political action committee, FranPAC, a unique view of Pennsylvania Avenue and the nation’s capital. (Separate FranPAC contribution required to attend.)

Erica Fitzsimmons is senior director of political affairs, grassroots advocacy & multi-unit franchisee engagement for the International Franchise Association.  She can be reached at 202-662-0670 or 

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