Last week hundreds of franchisors, franchisees and franchise industry advisors and suppliers met in Washington DC for the 12th Annual International Franchise Association Public Affairs Conference.  I was fortunate to once again join several clients, friends and colleagues to support legislative initiatives that will benefit franchised businesses throughout the United States.  The conference stressed the critical role of franchised businesses in today’s economy as a means for economic growth and job creation.

Conference attendees listened to experienced industry professionals regarding the latest business and economic trends likely to impact the bottom line of franchised business during two days of presentations and addresses.  The highlight of the conference was the visit to Capital Hill where the IFA scheduled meetings with members of Congress and Senate of each attendee’s district and/or state.  I had the opportunity to meet with Congressman Jim Gerlach of Pennsylvania as well as staff members for Senators Casey and Toomey.  During my meetings I stressed the issues critical for franchised business today.  Specifically, we discussed the need for adequate access to capital for franchised businesses, the repeal of the employer mandate included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and I requested that my lawmakers support of the Help Veterans Own Franchises Act which will establish a tax credit for veterans who purchase a franchise.  

Over the past several years I have found the conference to be very rewarding and productive.  The information and programming provided during the conference by the IFA is excellent.  I believe this conference attracts franchise industry practitioners and members who are truly engaged in the issues most important to franchised business today and encourage all who have a vested interest in franchising to attend in September of 2012.