IFA Meeting Brings Franchisors to Capitol Hill

The International Franchise Association’s Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting took place September 13-14 at the JW Marriott in the nation’s capital. The two-day event is an integration of the IFA’s grassroots advocacy program, the Franchise Action Network, with their annual fly-in, formerly known as the Public Affairs Conference.

This critical meeting gives franchisors the opportunity to meet with representatives in Congress to discuss regulations that can affect our business. Jani-King’s CEO and President, Jerry Crawford attended the event, met with elected officials and also participated in IFA board meetings during his time at the annual meeting. Stephen Hagedorn, General Counsel for Jani-King, met staffers for Senator Ted Cruz, Senator John Cornyn, Congressman Jeb Hensarling, and Congressman Sam Johnson. He also met directly with Congressman Joe Barton and Congressman Kenny Marchant.

“We met with key people to thank them for their continuing support of the franchise industry and request that they join the newly formed Franchise Caucus, which is a bipartisan caucus meant to educate members of Caucus about the impact of franchising on the economy and challenges relating to the franchise business model,” said Hagedorn. Also participating in meetings on behalf of Jani-King were master franchise owners Jane Tapken and Mary Crawford.

Throughout the two days, at the forefront of discussions were both challenges and benefits of the franchise model and why we must all work together to protect and promote the model going forward. The IFA coordinated the timing of the meeting to coincide with the release a new economic impact study that shows the significant impact franchise businesses produce for the U.S. economy. Here are just some of the highlights from that report:

  • According to a comprehensive research study on the economic impact of franchising,
    there are 732,842 business format franchise establishments providing more than 7.6
    million jobs, generating $674 billion in economic output and 2.5 percent of the Gross
    Domestic Product (GDP) for the U.S. economy.
  • “The study illustrates that franchise businesses are a critical component of the U.S.
    economy, fostering entrepreneurship by empowering local, independent and diverse
    small business owners who are creating jobs in many business sectors,” said IFA
    President & CEO, Robert Cresanti, CFE. “As Washington works to strengthen and
    renew our economy, policymakers should remember that franchising is making a
    difference in every local community across the country.”
  • Franchise businesses provided more jobs in 2016 than wholesale trade; transportation
    and warehousing; nondurable goods manufacturing; and information (including
    software and print publishing, motion pictures and videos, radio and television
    broadcasting, and telecommunications carriers and resellers).
  • Taking into account the indirect impact of franchised businesses, business format
    franchises support more than 13.2 million jobs, $1.6 trillion in economic output for
    the U.S. economy and 5.8 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • Jobs supported because of franchise businesses were at least 10 percent of the private
    sector nonfarm workforce in 33 states, and at least 6 percent in every state except the
    District of Columbia.
  • Quick service restaurants is the largest category, representing 25 percent of all franchise
    establishments, 45.5 percent of all franchise jobs, and 30.5 percent of GDP.
  • The number of people employed by franchises is greatest in California, Texas, Florida,
    Illinois, and Ohio.
  • Franchisees own and operate 88 percent of all business format franchise establishments
    and franchisors own and operate 12 percent.

For more information and to view the full economic impact report, please visit:

Also during the meeting, Jani-King was one of many franchisors who nominated a Franchisee of the Year to be recognized at the banquet on the evening of September 13. Proudly representing Jani-King this year was Ilirjad “Eli” Ollomani, the largest unit franchisee in the Philadelphia region. Mr. Ollomani purchased his franchise in April 2005 and oversees the cleaning of several key accounts including multiple charter schools and two Temple University dining halls. Mr. Ollomani is well respected by his customers, several of which he has serviced for 10 years.

“Eli comes to Franchise Day every month, makes a point to meet with my Operations Manager as well as myself to talk about his current accounts and to talk about future business,” said Jerry Figlioli, Regional Director for Jani-King of Philadelphia. “Eli epitomizes the opportunity and success one can experience in the Jani-King program.”