The CFA’s advocacy team works tirelessly to ensure that decision makers across the country understand the importance of the franchise business model to Canada’s economy and to the livelihoods of almost 2 million Canadians who are employed in franchising.
Over the past year, we’ve worked to help governments understand the needs of franchised businesses, and to help shape government programs that were developed to support businesses and ensure they work for Canadian franchises. We’ve also provided valuable education to CFA members to improve their understanding of government programs and keep them up-to-date on news and resources around COVID-19, the franchising industry, and what’s happening in Ottawa—particularly crucial in an election year.
Through hundreds of phone calls and virtual meetings, the CFA’s advocacy team lobbied to make sure the interests of Canadian franchisees and franchisors were heard.
CFA’s Advocacy Work:
Kept CFA members informed. Through daily COVID-19 updates and weekly Federal Election updates, the CFA kept our members informed and in the know on government and political news, economic changes, and available resources and programs.
Held key meetings with government representatives across Canada. The CFA participated in more than 350 phone calls and virtual meetings with public servants, political staff, and elected officials.
Provided vital education to the government. This year, the CFA continued to provide education about the franchise business model and franchising’s positive contributions to the Canadian economy.
Raised awareness about franchising. During Franchise Awareness Days in November, the CFA met with 25 federal and provincial politicians and public officials to lobby for the issues that are important to the franchising community. The CFA also held the first Advocacy Awareness Month in June.
Helped extend wage subsidies available to franchises. The CFA successfully pushed for several extensions of the Canada Emergency Wages Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) over the course of the pandemic.
Helped extend CEBA repayment. The CFA successfully lobbied for the federal government to extend the repayment deadline and terms of Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loans
Helped secure changes to the Canada Small Business Finance Program. The CFA successfully pushed the federal government to make changes to the Canada Small Business Finance Program (CSBFP) that would help franchised businesses.
CFA’s Advocacy First
- Held the FIRST advocacy awareness month in June 2021
- Held the FIRST sponsored webinars for CFA members
- Launched the FIRST federal election weekly emailer
- Created the FIRST member questionnaire designed to help CFA members make a decision on election day
CFA’s Advocacy Accomplishments
The CFA hosted a series of webinars with CFA member partners to help members navigate the complex and everchanging franchising landscape in Canada. These informative webinars included a case law update on COVID-19 and the workplace, hosted by Sherrard Kuzz LLP, and “Ontario Blue Box Changes: What Every Franchisor Needs to Know,” hosted by Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.
In 2020, the CFA established daily COVID-19 Updates, sent by email to all CFA members to keep them in the know on
pandemic-related updates, including government programs and CFA resources. These continued in 2021, and since the beginning of January that year, the CFA has delivered more than 125 COVID Updates to members to keep them in the know on government and political news, updates to government programs, economic news, COVID-19 developments, and any other news or resources that may be helpful for franchisors and franchisees.
When the pandemic first began, the CFA actively lobbied the government to put in place wage and rent subsidies
to help franchised businesses. The Temporary Emergency Wage Subsidy (TEWS), which consisted of a 10 per cent wage subsidy, was the first implemented. The CFA, along with other organizations, lobbied for what became the 75 per cent Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The CFA’s Advocacy team worked with partner organizations
to successfully push for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) to be extended several times over the course of the pandemic. The program was in place until fall 2021.
CEBA Repayment Deadline Extension
In December 2021, the federal government signaled that it would be extending the repayment deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Account loans—a major win, as the CFA and its members have been actively lobbying for the extension over the previous six months! The CFA’s letter to Ministers Freeland and Ng asking the federal government to extend the repayment deadline— making the deadline to qualify for the forgivable portion
on December 31, 2023, extending the repayment terms, and forgiving all interest on all government-backed pandemic loans (CEBA, BCAP, HASCAP, RRRF, etc.) for SMEs—was signed by 69 CFA members.
Changes to Canada Small Business Finance Program
For many years, the CFA has lobbied for changes to the Canada Small Business Finance Program (CSBFP). In 2021, the federal government announced changes to the program which were included in the 2021 federal budget. These changes include:
- Allowing franchise fees to be eligible expenses under the program;
- Increasing the maximum loan amount from $350,000 to $500,000;
- Extending the loan coverage period from 10 years to 15 years for equipment and leasehold improvements;
- Expanding borrower eligibility to include non-profit and charitable social enterprises; and
- Introducing a new line of credit product to help with liquidity and cover short-term working capital needs.
While implementation of these changes was delayed by the federal election, the CFA is working with the federal government to make the changes to the program as soon as possible.
2021 Federal Election Updates and Resources
In the months leading up to the 2021 Federal Election, the CFA provided its members with critical updates throughout the campaign through a weekly Federal Election Update, which was sponsored by Temple Scott Associates. The email campaign provided members with detailed public opinion polling and some insight and analysis that went beyond what was in the news, to help CFA members understand what was happening and why. The CFA also developed a questionnaire to help members learn about the different parties and their policy positions on the issues facing franchising and franchised businesses in Canada.
Advocacy Awareness Month
In July 2021, the CFA launched Advocacy Awareness Month. Throughout the month, the CFA drove key messaging about franchise advocacy via social media and the CFA’s weekly email campaigns. Advocacy Awareness Month helped the CFA accomplish several objectives that are key to the success of the franchise business model in Canada, including raising more than $10,000 in donations, driving engagement in advocacy through 100+ members participating in an advocacy survey, and raising awareness of the CFA’s advocacy through social media.
Franchise Awareness Days in Ontario
In November 2021, the CFA met with 25 federal and provincial politicians and public officials to lobby for the issues that are important to the franchised business community. Some of the issues the CFA brought to the attention of these public officials and politicians included the clarification of common/joint employer designation, post-pandemic supports for franchised businesses, reducing red tape, and fair treatment under environmental legislation.