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SACRAMENTO — California's Chamber of Commerce has come out in opposition to the state's franchising abuse reform bill, Assembly Bill 2305. And its letter is identical in whole swaths of verbage to the IFA's statements.
On its Action Alert page, the California Chamber of Commerce describes the Level Playing Field of Small Businesses Act as revising "the California Franchise Relations Act and the Franchise Investment Law in order to prohibit one-sided negotiations between franchisors and franchisees."
It opposes that, while franchisee groups support it.
In one of the best online tools among advocacy groups of the bill, the Chamber has a message that can be automatically emailed to Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA), Attorney General Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), and to the user's upper and lower chamber representative, which it figures out from the address. The California Chamber of Commerce hopes business owners will fill in their name and business, and then send out the pre-written letter to lawmakers at a click of a mouse. In contrast, various grass-roots franchisee associations that are for the bill as well as the International Franchise Association, which is against AB 2305, provide a letter template but ask members to print out and fax it to lawmakers themselves.
The Chamber of Commerce's automatic letter is identical in many areas to the International Franchise Association's declaration.
The Chamber letter declares, "Adopting such burdensome legislation as AB 2305 would undoubtedly force franchisors to look to other states to expand their brands – taking jobs and new businesses with them." That point is the exact same wording as a letter that the International Franchise Association sent to Blue MauMau on March 14.
The IFA declared, "Franchisors impose standards and expectations on all franchisees to protect the brand's reputation, other franchise owners nearby, and, ultimately, the general public – their collective customer. This bill will allow sub-standard franchise outlets to continue offering inferior products and services to consumers."
So also states the Chamber. Verbatim.
The IFA, an association established by franchisors in 1960 to look out for their interests, adds this about associations formed by small business capitalists and employers of labor: "Franchisors would be forced to recognize franchisee associations and collectively bargain as though they were labor unions. The cost must be passed on to consumers and franchisees in the form of higher prices."
In contrast, the California Chamber does not. Its letter on this point departs from the D.C. K-Street based association's.
Franchisee groups think that these points are incorrect.
Read the full California Chamber of Commerce letter template for its members to urge lawmakers to oppose the state's new fair franchising bill AB 2305 here.