Congressional Franchise Caucus Kickoff Event

By: Ryan Kennedy, Manager, Public Affairs & Grassroots Advocacy

On Tuesday, January 24, IFA joined Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis, co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Franchise Caucus for a kickoff event in the House Administration Hearing room of Longworth House Office Building. The event was generously catered by IFA Members, Dunkin’ Donuts and Chick-Fil-A.

Approximately 65 attendees, primarily Congressional staffers, joined an hour long program detailing the newest franchise economic impact data as well as profiles in franchising from two industry speakers. Moderated by IFA’s President & CEO, Robert C. Cresanti, CFE the CFC kickoff event celebrated the massive opportunity found within the business model while also sharing practical and informative data for the policymaker audience at the event.

Representative Rodney Davis kicked off the event by acknowledging the great contributions of the Caucus’ Democratic co-chair, Representative Collin Peterson of Minnesota. Unfortunately, Rep. Peterson was unable to join the event due to an illness, but his commitment to supporting the franchise model has been clearly evidenced by his leadership in co-founding the Congressional Franchise Caucus.

Congressman Davis signaled to the audience an expectation of strong entrepreneurial and small-business growth in 2017, as supported by the new data released on January 24 for IFA’s annual Franchise Business Economic Outlook: 2017 report prepared by IHS Economics. He called for additional members of Congress to join the Franchise Caucus to participate in important discussions and critical actions to help support small business owners across America.

Robert Cresanti was also joined by two impressive franchise speakers at the Caucus event on Tuesday. Founder & CEO of SOLDIERFIT, Danny Farrar was introduced by Cresanti as,“a man who has truly come to embody the power of franchising and embrace the opportunity to help others through entrepreneurship.” Farrar spoke of his struggles as a military veteran battling post-traumatic stress as well as his second chance in life as a driven entrepreneur in franchising.

“Far too often, when our veterans return home, they are faced with challenges that most Americans can never even fathom. And they’re forced to address these challenges while running at a deficit, having returned home irreparably scarred—physically, mentally, or both… together with many of you, I have been a proud champion of IFA’s VetFran program – providing veterans and their families career opportunities that ensure an easier transition back into the civilian economy.”

Today, SOLIERFIT is a fast-growing franchise thanks to the leadership and unwavering passion of Danny and his team.

Vinay Patel, President & CEO of Fairbrook Hotels understands the hard work and perseverance required when seeking financial freedom and growing success in business. His story of family, commitment, and resilience spoke to the limitless opportunities in franchising.

“As a first-generation American and minority small business owner, I owe much of my success to the American franchise model, which gave me both the flexibility and the resources to develop my business and create good American jobs.”

A leading voice within the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), Vinay is a constant example of the transformative power and possibilities that come with franchising for all entrepreneurs.

Cresanti closed the event with an overview of www.franchiseeconomy.com which features economic impact data on the national, state, and Congressional District levels in addition to the 2017 economic forecast and public polling on franchising. According to the data, 66 percent of voters would like the Administration and Congress to focus on policies that support local ownership of stores and restaurants while 74 percent have a favorable opinion of franchise businesses in their communities. With the support of policymakers such as those leading the Congressional Franchise Caucus, franchise owners across America stand to benefit from smarter and simpler small business policies.