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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Rep. Tom Cole Named IFA 2016 Legislator of the Year

September 13, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The International Franchise Association (IFA) named Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) as the 2016 Legislator of the Year during IFA’s Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting. The Legislator of the Year Award is given to lawmakers who consistently support a pro-franchising, pro-business agenda.

“We applaud Rep. Cole’s tireless efforts and continued leadership on critical policy initiatives that impact our nation’s franchise economy,” said IFA President & CEO, Robert Cresanti, CFE. “As Chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees labor issues, Rep. Cole has illustrated time again his relentless commitment to the Americans, and we are eternally grateful for his continued support.”

Cole was elected to Congress in 2002 and is currently serving in his seventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Identified by Time Magazine as "one of the sharpest minds in the House," Cole is a tireless advocate for small businesses and taxpayers, supports a strong national defense and is a leader on issues dealing with Native Americans and tribal governments. Cole understands that labor ecosystem and that it requires both employers and employees to function. Since 2009, Cole has served on the House Appropriations Committee, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. He is also assigned to the Subcommittees on Defense and Interior. In 2015, Cole was reappointed to the House Budget Committee for the third consecutive Congress, and since 2013, has served on the House Rules Committee. In addition, Rep. Cole serves as a Deputy Whip for the Republican Conference and is a member of the Republican Steering Committee.

“Small business owners – the backbone of Main Street -- are often met with excessive regulatory and tax barriers that choke innovation and discourage job creation,” said Rep. Cole. “Too often, these regulations create a barrier to entrepreneurs from entering the marketplace. That not only shatters the American Dream for a would-be entrepreneur, it prevents the creation of jobs that would have lifted other hardworking Americans as well.” According to Rep. Cole, “small businesses are truly the backbone of our economy, and our future success depends on their continued success. In order for small businesses to be established, create jobs and remain open, the environment must encourage and allow them to thrive. I remain committed to clearing red tape to help them succeed.”

“It is truly an honor to be represented by such an exemplary Member of Congress – one that genuinely cares about our labor force and supports policies that will continue to grow the franchise economy,” said Robert Funk, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Express Employment Professionals, headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK. “We applaud Representative Cole’s leadership and express our sincerest appreciation for his continued support for the franchising industry and its millions of employees across the country.”

Each year, millions of Americans start businesses, find jobs and gain skills through franchising.

To help share the stories of franchise owners across the country, IFA kicked off its @OurFranchise tour, sharing the experiences of local franchise business owners and how their employees are supporting their communities, creating jobs and business ownership opportunities.

According to a new research study on the economic impact of franchising commissioned by IFA, there are 732,842 establishments creating more than 7.6 million jobs, generating $674 billion in economic output and 2.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the U.S. economy. The also includes the franchise industry’s contributions to the U.S. economy at the national, state, and congressional district level.

Cole was recognized at IFA’s Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting, which brings together more than 300 franchise business leaders to raise awareness with policymakers and other D.C. influencers about the industry’s continued successes and economic contributions. 

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About the International Franchise Association
Celebrating 56 years of excellence, education and advocacy, the International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the more than 733,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 7.6 million direct jobs, $674.3 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy and 2.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology and business development.

Link to original release