ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 22, 2009 – Donald DeSmith, President of Servant Systems, Inc. of Ann Arbor, Michigan, along with several other Michigan franchise industry executives, met with members of the Michigan congressional delegation in Washington, DC about healthcare reform and other issues important to the franchise industry during the International Franchise Association (IFA) 10th Annual Public Affairs Conference held in Washington Sept. 14-15.
DeSmith joined 450 franchise leaders from around the country in Washington to urge Congress to consider the impact of healthcare reform on small and franchise businesses. “We urged congressional leaders to focus on reducing the cost of health care, improving the quality of care and making health insurance affordable for businesses to offer to employees,” DeSmith said. “While the franchise industry supports healthcare reform, now is not the time, during the worst recession since World War II, for substantial new increases in healthcare costs. More consideration for small businesses in the healthcare debate is critical to the future of the franchise industry.”
DeSmith highlighted the importance of franchising to the U.S. economy during meetings with members of Congress. Included were Congressman Mark Schauer (7th Congressional District of Michigan) and aides of Congressmen John Conyers, Gary Peters, Thaddeus McCotter and aides of Senator Debbie Stabenow.
According to a study conducted for the IFA Educational Foundation by PricewaterhouseCoopers on the economic impact of franchising, there are more than 900,000 franchised businesses in operation across the country that provide 21 million jobs and generate $2.3 trillion in economic output, DeSmith said. “However, the credit market is hampering our ability to create new, sustainable jobs. A 40 percent reduction in franchise lending is predicted this year, resulting in the loss of an estimated 200,000 direct and indirect jobs,” he said. “We urged Congress to promote more lending and less government spending so franchise businesses can provide better jobs that help the economy recover at a faster pace.”
Servant Systems is a custom software solutions provider to franchisors and a Microsoft Certified Partner (both since 1992). Servant Systems (www.servantsystems.com) develops franchise management tools, sales reporting applications and other essential software systems that help franchisees and franchisors improve operational efficiency, marketing performance and profitability. Don DeSmith is a member of the International Franchise Association’s Information Technology Committee.
The International Franchise Association, the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising, is the preeminent voice and acknowledged leader for the industry worldwide. Approaching a half-century of service with a growing membership of more than 1,300 franchise systems, 10,000-plus franchisees and more than 500 firms that supply goods and services to the industry, IFA protects, enhances and promotes franchising by advancing the values of integrity, respect, trust, commitment to excellence, honesty and diversity. For more information, visit the IFA Website at www.franchise.org.