The Philadelphia Chapter of the International Franchise Association’s Women’s Franchise Network hosted its annual summer meeting this past week.   For those of you who do not know, the local chapters of the IFA WFN’s is a local community designed to create, promote and inspire a network of female franchise business professionals dedicated to strengthening the success of women in the franchise industry. 

Hosted by Rita’s Franchise Company at their company headquarters and training facility in the Philadelphia suburb of Trevose, more than 35 local franchisors, franchisees, and industry supplies came out to network as well as enjoy delicious and refreshing Rita’s treats.  It was the perfect way to spend an evening when temperatures in the region hovered around 90 degrees!

In addition to good company, the group had privilege of listening to Yvette Nunez, Vice-President of Civic Affairs for the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, speak about the current economic climate and potential issues in the Philadelphia area that could affect franchisors and franchisees alike.   She provided an engaging and educational discussion on the Chamber’s initiatives.  She also discussed what franchisors and franchise owners can do to support economic and job growth in the region and combat regulatory initiatives that may negatively impact business growth in the region.

Yvette’s call to action came at a perfect time as the IFA is gearing up for the Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. where IFA members will meet with Congressional representatives to discuss legislation impacting the franchise business model.

Yvette encouraged small business owners, especially franchisees, to participate in educating those working in City Hall on how certain legislation and local regulations may impact small business owners.  She used the example of City Council’s predictive scheduling law which requires certain industry employers to provide employees advanced notice of work schedules. It also requires employers in these industries to give employees predictability pay for specified schedule changes and requires employers to provide a minimum number of hours off between shifts and priority on open shifts. The Chamber supports the intent of the ordinance, which includes, for example, providing employees the opportunity to plan childcare during work hours.  However, unknown events, like bad weather or the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Superbowl, can require last minute changes to personnel staffing.

Yvette explained that it is harder to make an impact when only “big business” lobby City Council members.   Representatives are much more emphatic and open to hearing how these regulations impact the small business owner.    This is why it is critical for franchisees to be present, locally, regionally as well as nationally at the IFA Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting.  Franchisees need to remind governmental representatives that, although they many be associated with a large brand name, they are small business owners who are impacted by these regulations.

You can learn more about the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia by clicking here.  To learn more about the IFA Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting click here.  Attendance at the meeting is free for franchisees.  Interested in joining the IFA Philadelphia Chapter of the WFN, click here.   The next meeting of the Philadelphia IFA WFN is scheduled for October 29th and will be hosted by CertaPro.