IFA’s Franchise Appreciation Day Recap – Current Political Issues Facing Franchising

Earlier this week I attended the International Franchise Association’s 9th annual Franchise Appreciation Day in Washington, DC. Over 500 people, franchisors, franchisees and industry suppliers, gathered together to discuss the current economic and political picture and visit Congressional men and women to present their views and stances on the major political issues facing small businesses and franchises today. Some of the key issues facing small business include:

  • Employees’ Right To Private Ballot Election

Today, just over seven percent of teh private sector workforce is unionized … down from 20% as recently as the 1980’s. To end a decline of union membership, DC based union bosses are pushing Congress to enact EFCA, which would install a scheme known as card-check as the preferred way to organize employees.

  • Immigration Reform

Estimates vary, but there are roughly 12 million undocumented workers immigrants in the US today. Clearly, millions are in our labor force and it is very certain that our economy relies on their productivity.

  • Health Care Reform

Health care is an ongoing struggle for the typical small business person. In usual situations, health care is usually too expensive or inadequate for a small business person to provide to their employees, or even themselves if a person has a pre-existing condition. Small Business Health Plans have been stalled in Congress for years and it is unlikely to change before the November elections.

  • Federal Tax Policy

Tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 are set to expire in 2010 and if these cuts are allowed to expire, the capital gains tax will jump from 15 percent to 20 percent in 2011 and the top rate on dividends will go from 15 percent to 39.6 percent. Many small businesses pay taxes at the individual rate which could also increase to as much as 39.6 percent.

  1. How are some of these issues affecting you and your businesses?
  2. Have you contacted your local Congressperson and voiced an opinion?

We’re less than two months from the 2008 presidential election and the next Commander In Chief could make some dramatic changes to how small businesses operate on a day to day basis. Let’s hear how some of you are planning on getting your voices heard!

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