Ahead of the 2023 IFA Annual Convention, the Open for Opportunity Roadshow headed to Nevada for an action-packed visit with local franchises and a roundtable discussion on the value of franchise business ownership opportunities and the critical role they have played during the economic recovery.
The roundtable discussion, hosted by the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce, featured local business leaders and elected officials, including U.S. Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV). Congresswoman Titus proudly welcomed Open for Opportunity to the state, stressing the importance of franchising to the continued recovery of Nevada businesses following the pandemic and the work she’s doing to ensure Nevada is place where franchises can thrive and grow. “Las Vegas was one of the hardest hit places during Covid. As far as franchises go, they have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels and it’s predicted that franchises will grow faster in the southwest than anywhere else in the country,” Titus said during the event.
Local business owners from Toro Taxes, Brightstar Care, and McDonald’s shared how franchising helped them get their start in business and has given them a way to provide for their employees and the countless families they serve. Local McDonald’s owner-operator Patricia Navarro-Issel said, “Being a franchisee is also important because it allows you to give back to the community. We’ve been able to be a part of the Hispanic Baccalaureate here in Las Vegas and the Ronald McDonald House charities.”
In addition to the discussion, the IFA team got to experience a variety of Nevada franchises with a firsthand look at a local Tropical Smoothie, McDonald’s, Wing Zone, and California Closets, as well as Shaq’s original Big Chicken location. The back-of-house tours were insightful (and delicious) as the IFA team talked to small business owners, heard their success stories, and learned about the challenges they’re facing day-to-day – as well as heard directly from a number of team members who have built their careers through franchising. The IFA team even got to try their hand at working the drive-thru at McDonald’s!
Joining for the visit to California Closets was local councilwoman Victoria Seaman who got to hear the story of owner Erin Grassmeyer, who started as a designer and worked her way to own her own franchise – experiencing firsthand how essential franchise ownership is to the local Las Vegas economy. In addition, staff for Nevada Lieutenant Governor Stavros Anthony joined the Wing Zone visit, presenting the IFA team and Wing Zone and Capriotti’s CEO Ashley Morris with a certificate to recognize IFA’s work for local franchises around the state.
In his closing remarks to wrap up the roundtable discussion, Latin Chamber President and CEO Peter Guzman hit the nail on the head with his message on the importance of viewing local franchises as just that, locally owned and operated small businesses. He said, “These folks really reinvest in our community in so many ways, give money to so many causes here locally, that now I’m looking at it even harder that we’ve got to push and make sure that they’re viewed as local — because it’s local ownership, and local dollars.”