The Franchise Action Network (FAN) recently held its annual meeting in Washington DC. As Delaware’s State Action Captain for FAN, Pango’s Candice Caruso was in attendance. The following is a Q&A regarding her experience.
What are some highlights from the 2016 FAN annual meeting?
This year’s meeting underscored the importance of franchises in the communities that they serve. Franchises create jobs, provide on-the-job training, sponsor local sports teams, host fundraisers, and help with charitable organizations. Franchises are essentially today’s “Mom & Pop” businesses.
One of the major highlights at FAN was the launch of the Congressional Franchise Caucus, which will be co-chaired by Rodney Davis (R-Ill) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn). The caucus will help to promote and protect the franchise business model, which we think is vital to the U.S. economy.
Why is the FAN annual meeting so important on a local level?
Getting involved with FAN can be a huge resource for franchises. In Delaware, where Pango is headquartered, our home state is looking to reinvent itself after some recent notable corporate downsizes.
The Delaware Business Roundtable is promoting stronger ties between the public and private sectors to guide future success for the state. Franchises should be aware the IFA and the Congressional Franchise Caucus is there to serve and be a resource for state-level business communities.
What were the most important industry challenges discussed at this year’s event?
An important challenge facing the industry is proposed regulation that could threaten the franchise model. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) wants to enact the “Joint Employer Standard” which would hold franchisors and franchisees jointly liable for employees. However last year, the IFA was able to insert language in a congressional spending package.
Also up for discussion was the newly instituted Overtime Rules. The Department of Labor more than doubled the threshold for overtime-exempt employees in May 2016. The threshold now increases from $23,660 to $47,476. Higher labor costs could negatively impact franchises and may cause workers to lose pay, benefits, flexibility, responsibilities, and career advancement.
Where does FAN go from here to continue the dialogue with its members locally?
The franchises Pango Financial works with are trying to achieve profitability very quickly. We provide assistance and guidance with our services in this space. As the local captain for FAN, I will continue to be a voice and resource for our small business community. Franchise owners should take advantage of FAN and the opportunity to meet with local politicians and make their voices heard.