Eager to learn what is affecting franchise businesses in legislative, policy,
marketing and economic areas? Three times a week, those following the franchise industry can get the latest news in IFA’s news bulletin, IFA SmartBrief. Published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, it includes such categories as franchise news, best practices and business leadership, news from IFA, trends watch and a policy and finance update.
With a circulation of 25,000, the brief provides tips to help better operate
your franchise business, as well as share the activities IFA is conducting on Capitol Hill to promote the industry and counter policies and regulations that would stifle franchise businesses in their local communities.
The brief, easy-to-ready summaries spotlight what your peers and competitors are doing to expand, update or rebuild their brands. There are many media sources and include major media such as the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times, trade publications include QSR and Adweek and broadcast outlets such as FOX Business News and CNBC. Articles provide tips on taking advantage of social media, improving your credit, listening to customer feedback and more.
Not yet signed up for this free resource? Visit www.franchise.org and select SmartBrief under “Resources.”
On Tuesday, the U.S .Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that its loan programs had reached its second-highest total ever for loan dollars in a fiscal year during FY 2012. SBA reported that its approvals supported $30.25 billion in 53,848 loans to small businesses as a part of its two major loan programs, 7(a) and 504. The total was only slightly lower than the FY 2011 total of $30.5 billion and much higher than the FY 2010 total of $22.6 billion.
According to SBA, a driver of the lending pace was the temporary 504 refinancing program, which accounted for 34 percent of the $15.09 billion in loan volume in the 504 program. The refinancing program was a temporary provision under the Small Business Jobs Act passed in 2010, and expired on September 27.
Although there is still a significant demand for small business lending, this news is an encouraging sign that franchise small business owners are getting the capital they need to expand and open new locations. SBA also reported that nearly 1,300 lenders returned to SBA lending, highlighting the increasing eagerness of banks to support small businesses as an engine of economic growth and recovery.
To read the SBA’s press release announcing the FY 2012 loan statistics, click here.
A seemingly endless lackluster economic climate hasn’t soured growth prospects for East Coast Wings & Grill, which was just approved $7.5 million to provide start-up funding for franchisees entering the system and expansion funding for existing franchisees. Created by Franchise America Finance and The Bancorp Bank, a subsidiary of The Bancorp Inc., the lending program is the first of its kind.
The franchise’s CEO envisions that the infusion of capital will enable the opening of 12 to 15 stores annually for the next five years, dotting the Southeast with the franchise’s trademark buffalo wings. “The successful completion of a financing program in this difficult market is a testament to the strength of our business model and an important step in the company’s continued growth,” said Sam Ballas, CFE, CEO of East Coast Wings & Grill. By the end of this year, Ballas plans to expand 22-unit East Coast Wings & Grill beyond its home state, opening units in South Carolina and Texas.
The lender enthusiastically welcomed its first emerging chain. “We are very excited to add East Coast Wings & Grill to our lending program as our first ‘emerging’ brand,” said Ronald Feldman, CFE, CEO of Franchise America Finance. “The unit level economics and adoption of industry best practices by management helped us make our decision to offer franchisee financing.”
“Our national program offers the smoothest, most time-sensitive loan approval process available today,” said Nancy Broudo, vice president of franchisee lending of The Bancorp Bank. The Bancorp Bank has allocated more than $300 million for small-business franchisees and licensees since the program’s inception. “This access to capitalization will enable qualified franchisees to build their business, their industry and an employment base to create jobs.”
The franchise also recently completed its 35th consecutive quarter of same-store sales increases.
The economy can’t zap the zest of East Coast Wings & Grill’s growth trajectory.
The House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures held a hearing today on the Framework for Evaluating Certain Expiring Tax Provisions. The Members of Congress questioned several economist witnesses on how to best analyze the value of expiring tax provisions, and by which metrics they should be judged. Alex Brill, a Research Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, urged the committee to consider how a certain provision affects the economy as a whole as opposed to only examining the direct impact on the provision’s targeted industry.
The witnesses were unanimous in their dislike of temporary provisions, arguing that they create uncertainty for businesses. Dr. Jim White of the Government Accountability Office advised the subcommittee to clearly define the goals of each program to determine its permanence.
Aaron Goldstein, the Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, expressed the importance of continuing many credits before tackling tax reform, as they have a profound impact on the lives of many. He cited the development of a new hospital in Holyoke, MA that has created many jobs and is an important factor in the revitalization of the city.
Members of the Subcommittee emphasized the need to analyze programs pragmatically and empirically, and stressed the gravity of their task in the greater context of comprehensive tax reform and tackling the budget deficit.
With growing interest in franchising, private-equity investors are signing up for the first-ever “Private Equity and Franchise Finance Bonus Session” during IFA’s International Franchise Expo, Thursday, June 14, 1p.m.-5 p.m. at the Javits Center in New York City. The session will offer a preview of private-capital opportunities and a networking session with investors.
Investors from The Riverside Company and TZP Group, as well as experts from The McLean Group and DLA Piper, will preview private-equity opportunities and trends. Then, Franchise Times Publisher Mary Jo Larson gathers franchise leaders to review the latest trends and options in franchise finance from senior debt to SBA loans, including: Continue reading