March 17, 2015 By Riley Titus
On March 11, IFA brought together over 20 franchisees and franchisors from all over California for the third annual California Franchising Day at the State Capitol in Sacramento. Brands represented at the event included Plumbing Doctor, Home Instead, Mr. Rooter, Glass Doctor, Dominos, KFC, The UPS Store, and FASTSIGNS, in addition to IFA staff and partner organizations were all in attendance to advocate on behalf of the franchise business model.
Thanks to this leadership, the franchise model continues to create jobs and drive growth in California.
Saunda Kitchen, Owner of Mr. Rooter Sonoma County, CA echoed the importance of being engaged in IFA’s advocacy efforts. “This year’s franchising day was the best yet! Not only did we influence and educate our state’s lawmakers about the franchise business model, we walked away with a relationship with our lawmakers that will hopefully continue into the future. Our elected officials need to continue hearing from us about the challenges we face as small business owners in California.”
The delegation met with dozens of legislators and staff from both chambers and parties. During the meetings, attendees shared their individual stories of entrepreneurship, and discussed the importance of franchising in California. The delegation was well received by the lawmakers and gathered a great deal of positive feedback from a number of the offices. Support for the franchise model as a source of job creation and entrepreneurship appears to be relatively strong at this time.
Mark Borchin, owner of Glass Doctor of Gold Country, said, “It was clear to me that our legislators were interested in learning how franchising is really geared for the small business owner vs. large corporation. Having the opportunity to educate them on the business model and economic impact was a huge step in having them understand how vital we are to the fabric of California. The impact we made was very apparent. It was a great day and I was happy to have been involved.”
“Without the face-to-face legislative interaction with the IFA and its members, many legislators, both new and old, and their staff would have no exposure to franchising and a limited understanding of this local small business employment engine,” said Dan Conger, of Financial Services, Inc., the franchisor of Sir Speedy and TeamLogicIT, among other brands based in Mission Viejo.
Driving the message home was IFA CEO & President, Steve Caldeira, “Franchising plays a critically-important economic role in California and it is very important that California lawmakers understand that. To help ensure the continued growth of job-creating franchise businesses, lawmakers should focus on pro-growth policies instead of efforts that would undermine the highly-successful, time-tested and proven franchise business model.”
In conjunction with the event, an op-ed by Mr. Rooter of Sonoma County franchisee Saunda Kitchen appeared in Fox & Hounds, a prominent daily political news service in Sacramento. The article, titled “Franchise Business Model Provides Opportunity for California Women, Minorities & Other Aspiring Small Business Owners,” highlighted the franchise model’s positive impact on groups traditionally underrepresented among small business owners. Franchising serves not only as a vehicle for the economic empowerment of these groups, but also their communities.
The work does not end here. Moving forward, IFA will continue its outreach and engagement in California. The Franchise Action Network is currently working with legislators to schedule in-district meetings and roundtables later this year. If you are interested in hosting your local lawmaker at your business location or participating in an in-district meeting, please contact Erica Farage at firstname.lastname@example.org.