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U.S. Conference of Mayors Franchising Task Force Meets in Washington

IFA’s advocacy helps to improve the business climate for franchising.

As the new Congress has begun its work and the Obama administration embarked on a second term, the International Franchise Association leveraged its contacts and influence to ensure that its member companies’ voices continue to be heard.

These efforts increasingly enable IFA to have a seat at the table with administration and congressional policymakers who recognize the significance of the industry’s contributions to the economy at a rate above other industries. As IFA prepared to gather in Las Vegas for the 53rd IFA Annual Convention, three important IFA actions helped to improve franchising’s business climate.

Franchise Leaders Met with White House, HHS, Treasury and SBA Officials 

On Feb. 1, IFA Chairman Jon Luther (Dunkin’ Brands and Arby’s Restaurant Groups chairman), board members NRD Holdings, LLC President Aziz Hashim, PMTD Restaurants Chairman David Barr, Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin’ Robbins franchisee Mitch Cohen, Jayson Pearl, who represented BrightStar Franchising, LLC for Founder & CEO Shelly Sun, CFE, and IFA President and CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE, attended high-level meetings with key administration staff charged with implementing the employer mandate provisions in the Affordable Care Act.

The group voiced concerns about several aspects of the law. These concerns included the 30-hour definition of a full-time employee, how full-time equivalent versus full-time employees are calculated to determine if employers reach the 50-employee threshold when the mandate takes effect and the potentially devastating consequences on employer premiums likely to result from adverse selection. Subsequent meetings were conducted at the staff level Feb. 1 and IFA continues to host webinars for franchisors to educate their franchisees about the law with its partners at Ernst & Young.

IFA Met with White House Officials on Immigration Reform

Caldeira, and a select group of business leaders, attended a Feb. 7 White House meeting on immigration reform and the nation’s fiscal health.

Senior Advisor to President Obama Valerie Jarrett hosted the meeting with Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Jeff Zients, National Economic Council Director and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy Gene Sperling, and Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger, among others. Relationships that were developed with administration officials have resulted in the franchise industry’s perspective being sought at the highest levels on critical topics. As immigration reform talks heat up, IFA will be at the table to ensure that its members’ interests are addressed.

IFA’s Government Relations & Public Policy Department also met with Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and the staff of Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) on immigration. In the House, IFA met with Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Ted Poe (R-Texas.) and the staff of Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.).

IFA to Determine Impact of Tax Reforms

Comprehensive tax reform should be pursued in 2013 agree administration and leaders in both parties. IFA met with House Ways & Means Committee senior staff and the Senate Finance Committee to encourage a comprehensive approach to tax reform. While the parties differ on their approaches to accomplish this, IFA will have a seat at the table. IFA has joined with accounting firm BDO to analyze the impact of various changes in the tax code and their potential impact on the franchise business model.  IFA encourages its members to participate in this confidential study. ⎯

For more information on immigration policy, contact IFA Vice President, Government Relations & Public Policy Jay Perron at 202-662-0797 or jperron@franchise.org.

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