We’ve Only Just Begun
To steal from a 1970 hit single by The Carpenters, franchisees must remember that indeed, we've only just begun. While we are disappointed in having California Senate Bill 610 delayed from the committee vote, we have to put it all into perspective. The bill is still active and has passed both the Senate and Assembly Judiciary Committees. It has also passed the full Senate. This will give franchise owners, their supporting franchisee associations, and lawyers additional time to educate legislators on the issues and rebut the scare tactics used by the opposition. Remember, the committee analysis showed we had 712 individual supporters contact them. Those supporters were primarily California franchisees, and we appreciate the effort and support from each of you. This is a great base to build on and remind our legislators that companies, associations, and lobbyists don't vote, but individuals that live in their district do.
Besides California, legislation is active in other states, with more to come. This is being driven by franchise owners in those states, whether they have an association or not. It is quite simple why; franchisees want to protect their investments, whether that's through increased protection from terminations, renewals, transfers, sourcing of goods, pricing, encroachment, and others. The CFA, along with others, will continue to drive these efforts. We will work to engage franchisees and continue to refine legislation that addresses the business needs, in terms that legislators feel comfortable with. We will also continue to support other franchisee efforts when appropriate. In the last year, CFA has filed two amicus briefs on behalf of the Mail Boxes Etc. franchisees and an ACE Hardware franchisee. Please note that neither of these are CFA members, yet the CFA board felt the issues at hand were relevant to the rights of all franchisees.
I think we must understand that through history, rights movements have been full of obstacles and challenges. Our primary opposition has been at this for over 50 years, while the CFA for only a few. We must remember that for franchising to grow, franchise owners must invest. Our goal is to bring some balance into the industry so that franchisees feel comfortable investing. We must also continue to remind our legislators that it is franchise owners who invest, support, and create jobs in each of their districts. I am as confident as ever that we are on the right side of the discussion, and that we are moving closer to better rights and protections for franchise owners.
We ask franchise owners to become personally involved. And frankly, we could use some financial support to really ramp up our efforts. The opposition has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to date, if not more, and while we have the advantage of individuals volunteering, we can't move to the next level without some financial support. We are requesting franchisee donations to our fair franchising cause through our Universal Franchisee Bill of Rights website by clicking the DONATE button on that site. None of the money collected through this method will be used for CFA general fund expenses, only fair franchising efforts on behalf of franchisees. In addition, if a donation comes in from a state that has active legislation, we will do our best to keep those contributions directed at that state's efforts. And finally, the CFA would always like your direct support. You can become a CFA Supporter, or Individual Franchisee Member via our website, by clicking JOIN.
CFA is run by a board of directors consisting of members from all 19 of our member franchisee associations. It truly is an association of franchisees for franchisees. We look forward to working with all franchise owners and franchisee advocates on issues important to franchisees, including small business legislative issues, best practices for associations, and the rights of franchisees. We must all pull together to succeed.
Keith R. Miller
Chair, Coalition of Franchisee Association
Subway Franchisee – Auburn & Grass Valley, CA