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Franchisers Elect To Focus On 112th Congress

The recent mid-term election was historic, with more than 100 new members elected to Congress and Republicans seizing majority control of the U.S. House of Representatives to greatly narrow the gap of power in the U.S. Senate. Throughout the 2009-2010 election cycle, the International Franchise Association (IFA) consistently urged lawmakers to support policies that would incentivize growth and investment in small business. Voters agreed with this pro-business message and the election outcome demonstrated their frustration with the anti-growth agenda of the formerly Democratic-controlled Congress.

As the GOP takes the House this January, voters and IFA members hope to see legislation that promotes job creation and economic stability for small businesses. Recently, Franchise World magazine took a closer look at issues that the franchise industry would like to see topping the agenda.

How will Congress get down to business?

Taxes and Spending – With the new Congress voting for a two-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, both small businesses and the overall economy are expected to benefit. Maintaining the tax rates removes a lot of uncertainties for small businesses and leaves them with more to invest in hiring, equipment, advertising and growth-oriented efforts. Government spending was a critical issue during the election and the IFA expects GOP lawmakers to start cutting back on spending, but anticipates heated debate from Senate Democrats and the Obama administration.

Independent Contractors – The strong Republican showing in state-level races should assist IFA’s efforts to amend certain independent contractor laws in “ABC” test states. The new House GOP majority will also offer oversight opportunities to question the Department of Labor about enforcement activities. While Democrats have shown interest in franchise issues, Republicans have demonstrated much more motivation in addressing the industry’s concerns.

Health Care – Watch for eager Republicans in Congress to push for a repeal of many controversial components of the new health care law, especially the 1099 reporting issue, along with individual and employer mandates. A majority of voters currently favor repeal, with the RealClearPolitics average of all polling showing opposition of the law at 50.6 percent and support at 40.9 percent. House Republicans will also work at the committee level to provide increased oversight into the development of new health-reform regulations while seeking to slow down various provisions through the appropriations process.

Immigration – Illegal immigration is an increasingly heated topic and it may take several years to reach a bipartisan reform consensus. In the interim, there will likely be an explosion of bills focusing on state-level enforcement and the increased vigilance on hiring practices.

Labor Issues – Card-check legislation is not expected to be addressed in the near future. Labor unions will likely seek regulatory remedies through the National Labor Relations Board, while the business community will enlist the new House GOP majority to use the congressional oversight process to fight back. In addition, IFA members may see public employee unions working with their private union colleagues to drive similar provisions at the state and local levels.

The IFA’s small business interests appear to be directly in line with the nation’s political trends, as well as voter sentiment in favor of small-business owners since they see local businesses as the key to progress on jobs and economic recovery. As the mid-term election showed, IFA members are more eager than ever to support franchise-friendly candidates that will advance pro-growth policies that stimulate job creation and strengthen the economy. Franchise Congress, the IFA’s foremost grassroots program, is rapidly building relationships between IFA members and lawmakers in every congressional district to continually promote opportunities for small businesses.

The 112th Congress has been warmly embraced by the IFA who looks forward to working with legislators on issues facing the franchise industry, specifically those policies intended to increase access to credit and provide a level of tax certainty for small business owners everywhere.

MDG Advertising is a full-service South Florida franchise marketing agency, with offices in Florida and New York, that specializes in developing targeted franchise marketing solutions, exceptional online executions, and solid branding and media buying strategies that give franchises a real competitive advantage. For more information, call 561-338-7797 or log on to mdgadvertising.com

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