From minimum wage to paid sick leave to health care reform, issues debated in legislative arenas this year stand to have a greater impact on small business owners than ever before. More and more small business owners are recognizing the importance of communicating their concerns directly with elected officials—at all levels.

Since 2009, franchise owners from various brands have come together under the umbrella of the Coalition of Franchisee Associations (CFA) to identify areas of concern and communicate their positions directly to members of Congress.

The 2013 CFA Day Forum will be held July 9-10 at the Fairmont Hotel at 24th and M Streets in Washington, D.C. As a founding member of CFA, DDIFO is working with franchisees from 17 other national brands to promote small business interests on Capitol Hill. Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners Rob Branca and John Motta have seats on the CFA Board of Directors.

“My goal is to get 25 Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees at this event this year,” said Motta. “With everything going on in DC right now—with Obamacare knocking at our door—this is a great event to have franchisees attend because they can talk face to face with their representatives and senators. It’s definitely worth their time.”

Two years ago, the Universal Franchisee Bill of Rights was unveiled at the CFA Day Forum. According to CFA Chairman Keith Miller, “The framework of the Universal Franchisee Bill of Rights has resulted in many state legislative efforts in the form of The Small Business Investment Protection Act. It is time to bring these efforts to Congress and provide the protections franchisees deserve as co-investors in their brands.

This year, the CFA will be holding a reception for members of Congress the night before franchisees visit Capitol Hill. According to Misty Chally, CFA’s Executive Director, lawmakers from districts represented by CFA Day Forum attendees will be invited to meet and greet.

“Because of the prominent issues of the day, members of Congress want to know what the impact would be on small business owners,” said Chally. “We want them to have a good discussion about the issues with the franchisees.”

Issues like paid sick leave, minimum wage and health care reform impact all franchisees—regardless of the brands they represent. When franchise owners sit down to talk about issues with members of Congress, they make it clear the issues impact their bottom line and their ability to create jobs, according to Motta.

“If you think about the 25 or so employees we have per store, that’s a big number of people we represent in someone’s district. So having numbers is important.”

And, even if they don’t agree on the issues themselves, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are interested in the opinions of small business owners from back home.

To register for this year’s CFA Day Forum visit