The 51st annual International Franchise Association (IFA) convention drew 2700 franchise executives yesterday (2/14/11) to the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas, NV. Representing small businesses and entrepreneurs in over 90 different categories, which support 18 million jobs and $2.1 trillion of economic activity, the gathering of business women and men and those involved with the industry via marketing, law, and development, were treated to a keynote speech delivered by Governor Mitt Romney. He spoke on the uphill battle many small businesses are dealing with in our present business environment and political circumstance:
The theme of this year’s IFA Convention is “Building the Future Together,” and Romney, a likely 2012 Republican presidential candidate, spent much of his 40-minute speech addressing issues that hinder the ability for franchise businesses to grow and create jobs, such as the lack of permanent tax certainty, a health care law that does not control costs for employers and overregulation by government agencies.
“Growing small businesses are what get us out of economic downturns,” said Romney. “Instead of creating policies in Washington that help small businesses grow, we have seen the most anti-business agenda in a lifetime.”
“Franchise businesses need more long-term certainty on tax policy and have urged lawmakers to start over and fix the health care law so it does not impose excessive costs on the backs of franchise businesses still struggling to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira.
“Mitt Romney’s broad and proven experience in business, government and politics provided critical insight for IFA members seeking to position their franchise organizations for growth in a continually challenging financial climate, said Caldeira. “We appreciated Governor Romney’s unique insights and perspective on the state of the American economy and global affairs.
UPDATE from Real Clear Politics: According to an IFA spokesman, Romney didn’t speak from a prepared text and fielded questions from IFA’s chairman, Ken Walker. (Romney’s ability to speak off the cuff in an engaging, intelligent, cohesive manner is not a surprise to Mittheads!)
I was privileged enough to attend the lunch with Governor Romney. He was gracious with his time and insight. He allowed for everyone to give their input on what is on Nevadans’ minds which shouldn’t be a surprise, was the economy. Mitt is the fix-it man we need.
Given that the Silver State is slated to hold a GOP caucus a year from now – after Iowa and New Hampshire vote, and that the Nevada GOP caucus is binding for 2012 – meaning that the candidate who wins the delegates will be in possession of them all the way to the Republican Convention, Romney’s continuing strong presence in Nevada is a bonus. Nevadans’ hearty approval of Romney is reflected in a recent Public Policy Poll.
► Jayde Wyatt