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500 Franchise Leaders Gathered in Washington This Week to Urge Passage
WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2010—After nearly two years of intensive lobbying by members of the International Franchise Association, franchise businesses are closer to improved credit availability with the passage of a provision by the Senate that increases the Small Business Administration’s loan limits from $2 million to $5 million, IFA said today.
“We applaud the Senate for passing this top priority for franchise businesses,” said IFA President and CEO Stephen J. Caldeira. “We urge the House to quickly address the same provision so franchise small businesses can expand into new markets and help the U.S. create 450,000 to 600,000 new jobs within the next 12 to 18 months.”
Caldeira said this was the message that over 500 franchise business leaders delivered to Congress this week during the 11th Annual IFA Public Affairs Congress. Credit access has been a top priority for franchise businesses and IFA has worked relentlessly to educate Congress that increased credit access means more jobs for the country. The attendees explained to their members of Congress that franchise businesses provide for over 21 million jobs and create $2.3 trillion in economic output. For every $1 billion in lending, franchise businesses can create over 40,000 jobs and $4.2 billion in economic output.
The Small Business Jobs Act passed by the Senate includes the SBA loan limit increase, as well as an extension of the 90 percent loan guarantee rate through the end of 2010, which will help to encourage banks to participate in the SBA program.
“Nearly 50 percent of our members cite access to capital as the most pressing issue they currently face,” Caldeira said. “These provisions will provide existing small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs access to the capital they desperately need.”
For example, as featured in a new ad appearing in Washington area publications, Pat Luers of Centerville, Ohio, who opened his first BrightStar franchise last year and created 40 new jobs in his community, would like to open more locations. However, he is having trouble accessing additional credit to make that happen. The ad states that with access to credit and sound regulatory policies, franchise businesses like Luers’ can create new jobs and help to get America back on the path to economic recovery.
“The credit provisions and tax credits in the Senate bill are important first steps in helping franchise businesses create jobs,” Caldeira said. “However, we urge policymakers to also address the uncertainty among business leaders and consumers about potential legislative and regulatory policies that could hamper progress. By sending a signal that policymakers are willing to fix onerous provisions in the health care reform bill and extend pro-growth tax relief for all taxpayers, they can create a business environment where banks and businesses are more confident moving forward.”
About the International Franchise Association
The International Franchise Association is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. Celebrating 50 years of excellence, education and advocacy, IFA protects, enhances and promotes franchising through government relations, public relations and educational programs. Through its awareness campaign highlighting the theme, Franchising: Building Local Businesses, One Opportunity at a Time, IFA promotes the 21 million jobs and $2.3 trillion of economic activity generated by franchising. IFA members include franchise companies in over 90 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law and business development.